For every step forward taken by Mets reliever Trevor May this season, an obstacle that sets him to paces back always seems to be looming around the corner.
A slow start to the season that was ultimately fueled by an arm issue led to a lengthy injured-list stint due to a stress reaction in his right humerus, sidelining the hurler and his 8.64 ERA at the time for two months.
He returned on Aug. 3 with more promising results, including a five-appearance stretch from Aug. 19 to Sept. 1 in which he allowed just a singled earned run and two hits.
But as things began to look up, he was placed on the IL Sept. 3 after testing positive for COVID-19.
“Timing-wise, really frustrating. Not a lot of things falling my way this year, in general,” May said in his return to Citi Field prior to Monday’s series opener against the Chicago Cubs. “I have to fight through and be ready to go no matter what. I just try to roll with the punches best I could. I would be lying though if I said I wasn’t extremely angry and frustrated there for a couple days because I felt like I was starting to get some positivity on the mound, get some big outs. I was proud of my work. To take another step back and reset again was [not good].”
While the 32-year-old said he didn’t have any concerning symptoms, it took him longer than expected to get a negative test that would bring him back into the Mets clubhouse. During his wait, he flipped the couch of his apartment over and covered it with blankets to provide a target to throw at to stay fresh.
“It’s frustrating more than anything,” he said. “It was just a cold that lingered a little bit longer than what usually has happened.”
May is viewed as an invaluable reinforcement for a Mets bullpen that has been spread thin in recent weeks and lacked overall consistency outside the likes of Adam Ottavino and closer Edwin Diaz. Should he pick up where he left off in late-August, he becomes another late-inning option alongside Ottavino and Seth Lugo that can help set the table for Diaz.
“Let’s hope that I personally get the luck but fortunately when things haven’t gone my way, they tend to go the Mets’ way,” May joked. “If that’s a sacrifice I have to make, I’ll take it.”