In the span of several hours Monday, the Mets lost three-quarters of their starting infield to injuries.
Minutes before game time at Truist Park in Atlanta, the team scratched regular third baseman Jeff McNeil due to lower back tightness. In the third inning, shortstop Amed Rosario departed due to left quad tightness. Two innings later, second baseman Robinson Canó exited because of left groin tightness.
All three are day to day with what appear to be minor injuries. Manager Luis Rojas indicated that the weather in Atlanta may have played a role, with humidity spiking over 80 percent on Monday and making it easy for players to become dehydrated.
“It’s our fourth game here in Atlanta, [and it was] coming after that game [Sunday] where it was really hot,” Rojas said. “It’s unfortunate it happened to three guys today.”
The Mets did not make any of the injured players available for comment.
McNeil had been slated to start in left field for the first time this season until the Mets scratched him when he complained of back tightness during his pregame cage routine. Last year’s team batting leader had awoken from a slow start at the plate to boost his batting average to .343 and his OPS to .857 through the Mets’ first 10 games.
Rosario was batting with the bases loaded in the top of the third when he grounded a ball to third base, moving slowly out of the batter’s box. He met after the inning with head trainer Brian Chicklo, who accompanied Rosario -- a .244 hitter in 10 games this season -- off the field with what the team later defined as a quad issue.
The 37-year-old Canó spent a significant portion of his offseason working on his lower-body strength after hamstring and quad injuries limited him to 107 games last season. He had been enjoying an early-season renaissance, batting .412 with seven RBIs in 11 games, including a 2-for-2 performance with three RBIs on Monday.
“We cannot take a chance to push guys just to stay out there,” Rojas said.
Given their uncertainty over those three, the Mets may look to bring additional infielders to Washington before Tuesday’s series opener against the Nationals. Every infielder on their 40-man roster is already active, but the Mets have two others at their alternate training site in Brooklyn -- Max Moroff and Jake Hager -- who could join their three-man taxi squad.
The Mets played out the final innings of Monday’s 7-2 win over the Braves with an infield of Pete Alonso, Brian Dozier, Andrés Giménez and Luis Guillorme, and no additional infielders on the bench. Two others, Jed Lowrie and Eduardo Núñez, are on the injured list and ineligible to return at this moment.
“We have to wait until [Tuesday], see how the guys are,” Rojas said. “I’m just praying that everything is minimal. But [Tuesday] we’ll find out where we are with those guys that got removed from the game today.”