As the Mets and their fans await Jacob deGrom’s next step, David Peterson’s last step was most painful.
The Mets starter, who already was out until at least mid-August with an oblique strain, felt a pop in his foot while walking Friday, manager Luis Rojas said. Peterson will require surgery after sustaining a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal on his right foot.
The manager called it a “freak” and “shocking” injury that prompted the Mets to move Peterson from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day IL. It also may mean he will miss the rest of the season, although Rojas would not go that far.
“We still got to wait for surgery and see how he responds,” Rojas said over Zoom before the Mets played the Blue Jays at Citi Field on Saturday night.
Peterson has not pitched since June 30, after which the oblique strain was discovered. Part of a Mets rotation that has been the best in baseball in terms of ERA (2.98 entering Saturday), the 2017 first-round pick had pitched better as the season wore on and posted a 3.66 ERA in the four starts leading up to his IL stint.
Rojas said the 25-year-old was “very frustrated” upon getting the X-ray back. Even if he bounces back quickly from the surgery, he still has an oblique that would have kept him out for another few weeks and would have to build back up again.
“He just didn’t understand how this could happen,” Rojas said. “But then once this thing happens, all you want to [say] is, ‘OK, what do we do?’ ”
For Peterson, the answer is: See a surgeon. For the Mets, the answer is: Try to piece together how they will cover the final two months of the season and, they hope, beyond that.
The club’s rotation depth has been thin, which led to the acquisition Friday of Rich Hill from Tampa Bay. Hill may start Sunday. Marcus Stroman is expected to start one of Monday’s doubleheader games, Rojas said, with the other starter still to be decided during a stretch of 18 games in 17 days.
The Mets still are waiting on Carlos Carrasco, who has yet to debut for the team because of a torn right hamstring. In his last rehab start, the righty allowed five runs and recorded five outs with Triple-A Syracuse. He is expected to pitch again for Syracuse on Sunday, with the Mets hoping he reaches three innings.
DeGrom, meanwhile, played catch the past few days and was getting treatment Saturday, with no set plan about a return date or his next step after right forearm tightness was his latest injury to crop up.
Noah Syndergaard (right elbow inflammation incurred while recovering from Tommy John surgery) is a hope, if not a certainty, to be back in September. The Mets already lost Joey Lucchesi to the same procedure earlier this summer.
Asked if Peterson could pitch again in 2021, Rojas said, “I don’t know.”
For a Mets rotation that entered Saturday as baseball’s best, with Stroman, Taijuan Walker and now Tylor Megill leading the way, there is uncertainty everywhere you look.