In a surprise, unfortunate Opening Day announcement, the Mets are placing Justin Verlander on the injured list with a low-grade teres major strain. Verlander will continue throwing, according to Billy Eppler, and the Mets will provide an update in a week. While Verlander is sidelined, Tylor Megill will take his place in the Mets’ rotation, pitching the third game of the opening series against the Marlins as well as the home opener at Citi Field next week.
Verlander said he felt something during his bullpen yesterday, which he reported to the Mets, and connected the dots with the diminished velocity in his final Grapefruit League start, which he previously attributed to routine spring discomfort. He was initially concerned the injury was to his lat, but the teres major muscle is a smaller muscle in the same area of the body that works synergistically with the lat muscle. “This isn’t best-case scenario. But I would think this is probably second-base case,” Verlander said, calling the injury “very minimal.” He emphasized that if this were the playoffs, he would likely pitch through it.
Of course Verlander and the Mets are hoping he won’t be sidelined long, but any absence of the Mets’ co-ace is notable, as the Mets opted to move on from Jacob deGrom in part due to durability concerns.