May left an appearance on April 11 with what was described at the time as triceps soreness and was later diagnosed as a “low grade triceps strain” after tests. May did not go on the IL, but continued to struggle on the mound, posting an 8.64 ERA in eight appearances so far this season.
After the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Braves on Monday night, May revealed that he is still not healthy. “I’m not feeling 100 percent healthy,” he said. “Trying to work through some stuff. Not really battling through it. It’s hard to compete when you’re just worried if something is going to hurt when you throw, to the point where I’m not very comfortable throwing my best pitches and taking too much time in between pitches to reset and try to get a little bit of energy to throw another one. By the end [of my outing] I was hoping that the ball was hit to someone. That’s no way to throw in a major league game.”
Before yesterday’s game, May was placed on the 15-day injured list with “right triceps inflammation” and Adonis Medina was called up to take his spot on the roster. He got an MRI yesterday, which revealed the humeral stress reaction. This is a similar injury to Jacob deGrom’s (albeit in a different bone), which is an overuse injury that could become a full blown stress fracture if left untreated. But, May will be shut down from throwing for at least four weeks to allow the bone to heal and then if follow-up tests reveal good news, he will ramp up from there.
This is a big blow to the Mets bullpen, which has now lost one of its primary setup men for a pretty significant period of time. The bright side is that Drew Smith has been pitching very well and after a rough patch, Seth Lugo appears to have bounced back as well. Expect a combination of Smith, Lugo, and Adam Ottavino to take on the bulk of May’s innings while he is sidelined.