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Mets place Walker Lockett on injured list with back discomfort

Lockett is not far down the Mets’ starting pitching depth chart, but he’s on the IL for now.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have placed right-handed pitcher Walker Lockett on the injured list with lower back discomfort. Lockett joins infielder Jed Lowrie in hitting the IL today.

The 24-year-old Lockett joined the Mets as part of the return when the team traded catcher Kevin Plawecki to Cleveland before the 2019 season. Having made his major league debut for the Padres in 2018, he wound up throwing 22.2 innings for the Mets last year, but he struggled in that time, posting an 8.34 ERA with 6.4 strikeouts and 2.4 walks per nine innings.

Lockett figured to be relatively high on the Mets’ depth chart for starting pitchers to star the year, possibly even joining the team as one of many bullpen arms when the season starts later this week with 30-man active rosters. If the Mets have to go beyond their top five pitchers—Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha—early in the season, they’ll be down one replacement option, at least for now.