Injuries & Moves: Hunter (lower back) on IL

August 7th, 2022

Keep track of the Mets’ recent transactions and injury updates throughout the season.

LATEST NEWS

Aug. 6: RHP Tommy Hunter lands on injured list; RHP Yoan López recalled as 27th man
A day after pitching two relief innings in the Mets’ loss to the Braves, Hunter hit the IL due to lower back tightness. Manager Buck Showalter referred to it as a minor issue that shouldn’t cost Hunter more than a minimum 15-day stay on the IL.

Hunter endured significant back issues last season, when he underwent multiple surgeries to repair several herniations. He signed a Minor League deal in April and returned to the big leagues less than two months later, producing a 2.51 ERA in 11 appearances.

“It got to a point last night where we thought it might be a good chance to try to square it up, settle it up,” Showalter said of Hunter’s back. “We think in the two-week period that it should calm down enough [for him] to contribute the rest of the way.”

By going on the IL, Hunter freed a roster spot for New York to activate a fresh arm without designating anyone for assignment. López served as the Mets’ 27th man for their doubleheader, and the Mets also activated their Game 1 starter, David Peterson. López was optioned to Triple-A following the twin bill.

Aug. 6: LHP David Peterson optioned to Triple-A Syracuse; RHP Adonis Medina recalled from Syracuse
Following a successful spot start against the Braves, Peterson returned to the Minors so the Mets can keep him stretched out as a starter -- for now. The team will next need a sixth starter for its Aug. 20 doubleheader in Philadelphia, and Peterson figures to receive that call. After that, New York could consider converting Peterson into a lefty reliever for the stretch run, depending upon the health of its other starting pitchers.

INJURY UPDATES

10-day and 15-day IL

RHP Tommy Hunter (lower back tightness)
Expected return:
Late August
Hunter, who underwent multiple back surgeries last year, landed on the IL on Aug. 6 due to tightness in his lower back. The Mets don’t consider it a major issue, but they viewed this mid-August stretch as a convenient opportunity for Hunter to rest his back for the stretch run. He should be ready to come off the IL when first eligible on Aug. 21. (Last updated: Aug. 6)

1B (right ankle sprain)
Expected return: Mid-August
Smith, who rolled his right ankle running the bases against the Cubs on July 16, began a rehab assignment Aug. 4 for Triple-A Syracuse. Once Smith returns, the Mets may have little choice but to option him to Triple-A, since they acquired lefty hitters Daniel Vogelbach and Tyler Naquin in his absence. It’s a decision the Mets will make around the middle of the month. (Last updated: Aug. 4)

RHP Drew Smith (strained right lat)
Expected return: August
Smith was going through a tough stretch on the mound when a July 27 MRI revealed the lat strain. Injuries of this type typically take multiple weeks to heal, and the Mets don’t expect Smith to come off the IL when eligible on Aug. 10. But if all goes well, Smith should still have enough time to return for the postseason push. (Last updated: July 29)

60-day IL

LHP (recovery from Tommy John surgery)
Expected return:
Late August or September
Lucchesi, who has been rehabbing at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., is an option to join the Mets late this season, though his precise timeline is not completely clear. The left-hander has been throwing off a mound since early in the summer. (Last updated: Aug. 7)

RHP Tylor Megill (right shoulder strain)
Expected return:
Late August or early September
After departing a June 16 start early due to right shoulder discomfort, Megill underwent an MRI that revealed a strain in the back of his shoulder. Megill refrained from throwing for four weeks and is now in the process of building back up -- a progression that should take another few weeks, with his first bullpen session scheduled for Aug. 13. When Megill does return, it will be as a reliever. (Last updated: Aug. 6)

RHP Sean Reid-Foley (recovery from Tommy John surgery)
Expected return:
2023
An MRI taken May 1 revealed a right UCL tear for Reid-Foley, who had departed the previous night’s game due to elbow discomfort. After receiving his test results, Reid-Foley consulted with additional doctors before deciding to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on May 10. That typically requires a 12- to 18-month rehab, putting Reid-Foley on track to return around midseason 2023. (Last updated: May 10)

RHP John Curtiss (recovery from Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: 2023
The Mets signed Curtiss on April 6 understanding that he will miss the entire 2022 season rehabbing from Tommy John. They hold an option on his contract for 2023, so if they’re pleased with what they see, they will exercise that and make him a part of their bullpen next season. Curtiss underwent surgery last September while he was in the Brewers' organization. (Last updated: April 7)