David Peterson’s stay on the injured list could be an extended one, perhaps underscoring the need for the Mets to acquire starting pitching depth.
Manager Luis Rojas revealed Saturday that Peterson, who departed his last start with right side discomfort, was diagnosed with an oblique strain — graded between one and two — that will keep him sidelined for up to eight weeks. Rojas added he was told Peterson’s shutdown period could be “a lot less” and the left-hander will be evaluated on a weekly basis.
Peterson had pitched effectively in his three previous starts before allowing six earned runs over three innings against the Braves on Wednesday, but overall he has pitched to a 5.54 ERA in 15 starts for the Mets this season.
Even with his struggles, he had become a needed piece to a rotation scraping for pitching depth, with Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Carrasco, Joey Lucchesi and Jordan Yamamoto on the injured list. Lucchesi will not return this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
At the top of the rotation, Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman have all pitched at an All-Star caliber level.
“[Peterson] was giving us what we needed,” Rojas said. “We were getting a lot of consistent starts from three of our starters and we needed that to follow up with the next two, be more consistent, so the bullpen didn’t get overused.
“We had a lot of moving parts as we did at times, so for Peterson to bounce back and throw the way he was throwing, it was a relief for everybody. You could see the bullpen more efficient. I think we connected more games, I think we started winning more games in a row because of that.”
With less than a month until the trade deadline, acting general manager Zack Scott will have to weigh the cost of adding another proven arm to the rotation against mortgaging too much of the future.
Minnesota’s Jose Berrios and Cincinnati’s Wade Miley and Luis Castillo are just some of the names that could be appealing to the Mets.
Of the IL pitchers, Carrasco is the closest to returning, with a late-July or early-August timeline. Rojas suggested Carrasco, who is throwing side sessions and still needs a minor league rehab assignment, might return even before he is fully stretched out to work deep into games.
“There is a possibility he would join us not even being at the six inning mark,” Rojas said. “He can join us before that if we have somebody we want to [piggyback] him with at the major league level.”