Early in spring training, it looked like 30-year-old right-handed pitcher Sam Coonrod had a decent shot at making the Mets’ Opening Day bullpen. But a couple of weeks ago, he suffered a lat injury that will surely keep him out for at least a little while.
The Mets claimed Coonrod off waivers from the Phillies in early February. He had spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons there, putting together a respectable 4.04 ERA in 42.1 innings in the first year before throwing just 12.2 innings with a 7.82 ERA last year. In total, Coonrod has a 5.27 ERA and a 4.42 FIP in 97.1 major league innings over the course of his career, having pitched for the Giants in 2019 and 2020 before joining the Phillies.
Given that Coonrod has options remaining, it’s entirely possible that he would have wound up starting the year in Triple-A Syracuse, even after Edwin Díaz suffered his knee injury. Now, he’ll start the year by resting and, eventually, starting rehab work. Presumably the Mets will assign him to Syracuse at the end of that rehab stint—and perhaps beyond it—and he’ll be one of several arms that the Mets might call upon later this year when they have a need for a fresh arm or a fill-in for another injury.