By Sam Bush
Mets star right-hander Max Scherzer is dealing with a hamstring issue and isn’t sure when he will pitch next, another frustrating setback for the top of New York’s heralded but suddenly fragile rotation.
A day after the Mets said Jacob deGrom will miss significant time with a shoulder injury, Scherzer was scratched from his outing Saturday morning in a simulated game.
Just five days away from Opening Day in Washington, Scherzer said he wasn’t sure about the immediate plans, but the three-time Cy Young Award winner doesn’t expect the trouble with his right hamstring to be a long-term problem.
“Don’t know,” Scherzer said when asked when he would pitch again. “I’ve had these little hamstring injuries before. They go away in days. Fortunately enough I’ve been pretty good to not have serious hamstring injuries. I’ve had just little hiccups.
“I think this is the same thing. For me, it’s just a day-to-day thing … but when you’re dealing with hammies, you never know.”
Mets manager Buck Showalter said he would lean on the 37-year-old right-hander for advice going forward but added that Scherzer was still in consideration for the Opening Day nod against his former Nationals teammates.
The Mets signed Scherzer as a free agent to a three-year, $130 million contract. That seemed to give them a dominant front of the rotation, but the news that deGrom wouldn’t throw for up to four weeks put a huge dent in those hopes.
There is no timetable for deGrom’s return. In addition to the time he won’t throw, the two-time Cy Young Award winner might need at least a month after that to get ready to pitch in the majors — and that might be a best-case scenario after he missed the second half last year because of an elbow injury.