Because almost all the bad news is not enough, this afternoon, Terry Collins declared that there is “a lot of concern with Neil Walker’s back.” Collins went on to say that Walker probably won’t be an everyday starter for the rest of the season. Walker will miss his third-straight game tonight with a back injury that has bothered him on and off since June.
Walker has had a streaky season, but his overall numbers are among the best of his career. In 113 games, the 30-year-old has hit .282/.347/.476 with a career-high 23 home runs in 458 plate appearances, while his .823 OPS and 3.8 fWAR are also personal bests.
If Walker misses significant times, it’s a huge blow to the Mets’ Wild Card hopes, though it should be noted that all four teams currently vying for the second Wild Card spot are dealing with significant injury issues of their own. Moreover, the Mets actually have some recent bright spots on the infield, including the revitalized Jose Reyes and Kelly Johnson, which could help ease the blow of having to replace Walker. Still, Walker has been the Mets’ best hitter after Yoenis Cespedes, and at some point, the obscene amount of injuries could prove insurmountable.