Frank Francisco is progressing in his rehab work
While the New York Mets have gotten off to a disappointing start considering their early-season schedule, the injury bug has not bitten them as badly as other teams—especially the crosstown rival New York Yankees.
With that being said, there are still several Mets players who are working diligently to return from injury. Most are envisioning a return to Citi Field while top prospect Travis d'Arnaud needs to recover to resume competition on the Triple-A level. His call to "The Show" will have to wait for now.
So which Mets players are rehabbing from injury and how are they currently progressing? Let's take a look.
It was such frustrating news when it was learned that New York's top catching prospect, Travis d'Arnaud, is expected to miss up to eight weeks after fracturing the first metatarsal bone in his left foot when he was hit with a foul ball in a Triple-A game for Las Vegas on April 17.
The centerpiece in the R.A. Dickey trade last December, the 24-year-old d'Arnaud received good news when it was learned that he would not require surgery. However, the injury was quite a blow to him and to New York Mets fans who are eagerly awaiting his MLB debut.
"There’s no surgery necessary," manager Terry Collins told the New York Post. "He’s in a boot. They want him to do as little as possible for awhile, let that mending start."
It could have been worse. For now, New York is in good shape behind the plate with the impressive John Buck, but Mets fans were really looking forward to watching d'Arnaud play on the big league level.
They'll just have to be patient. His time will come.
In 12 games at Las Vegas, d'Arnaud was hitting .250 with one home run, eight RBI and an OPS of .901.
Remember when Frank Francisco was New York's closer? That seems like a long time ago now, doesn't it?
The Dominican Republic native last pitched in a game for the Mets on Sept. 16, 2012 and is currently on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. He's pitching in extended spring training games after beginning a rehabilitation assignment with Port St. Lucie on Apr. 17. He tossed 25 pitches on Saturday.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, pitching coach Dan Warthen said that Francisco has enough strength in his arm to throw an effective splitter, but he has not thrown on consecutive days yet. Warthen also said he did not have an exact timetable for when Francisco would return from the DL.
The eight-year veteran saved 23 games for New York last season, but blew three saves and fashioned a brutal 5.53 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. Bobby Parnell is entrenched as the Mets' closer right now so it should be interesting to see what happens when Francisco is deemed healthy to return.
Will he regain his closer's role? That is far from guaranteed at this time.
The Mets really miss Tim Byrdak.
That might seem like a crazy statement, but with New York's bullpen in tatters, they sure could use the presence of the southpaw specialist.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, the 11-year veteran from Rice University continues to make progress after surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Byrdak has thrown up to 180 feet in his long-tossing program on flat ground and is hopeful of getting on a mound sometime this week for the first time since his surgery.
The Mets can sure use him back. Fellow southpaw Josh Edgin was recently demoted to Double-A Binghamton. The player called up to replace him—lefty Robert Carson—has been lit up like a Christmas tree to the tune of a whopping 14.73 ERA.
The other left-hander in New York's bullpen—31-year-old rookie Scott Rice—has been effective for the most part (1-1, 1.88 ERA), but was hit hard in a recent outing against the Dodgers.
Brydak was 2-2 last season for New York and fanned 34 batters in 30.2 innings of work. He held opposing hitters to a .180 batting average. He was often called on to face an opposing team's tough left-hander hitter—like Philadelphia's Ryan Howard or Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez.
His return certainly won't make or break the 2013 campaign for the Mets, but he should be a big help to Terry Collins' squad when he's finally back in the fold.
Jenrry Mejía, from Tabara Arriba of the Dominican Republic, is another Mets hurler battling back from elbow inflammation and remains on the disabled list. He's currently undergoing a rehabilitation program in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
According to Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger, the 23-year-old right-hander was initially thought to have forearm tendinitis, but he continued to have lingering pain. Further tests were run and doctors diagnosed Mejia with elbow inflammation in late March. He was shut down for two weeks and given a six-week timetable to return to the mound.
“I feel good knowing what I have because I was wondering,” Mejia told Castillo.
Mejia seems destined for Triple-A Las Vegas once he's ready to go.
It's been a rough start to his major league career, that's for sure. Mejia is 1-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 38 career games for New York.
At one time, Mejia was the club's top pitching prospect. That seems like a long time ago, but it was actually just a few years ago. In May of 2011, he tore the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. He did not pitch in another MLB contest until Sept. 7, 2012 against Atlanta.
The Mets are hoping that Mejia has finally put his injury woes behind him.