Peterson progressing slowly after hip surgery

February 14th, 2024

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- At the end of last season, following his final excellent start in an otherwise disappointing season, Mets left-hander David Peterson went for a precautionary MRI to determine why his body was feeling so achy. Peterson didn’t expect it to show much of anything.

When the diagnosis arrived of a torn labrum in his left hip, Peterson struggled to believe it.

“Confusion for sure,” he said of his reaction. “I just really didn’t think that was coming. But you kind of weigh the options, and it’s something that I thought I needed to get done sooner rather than later. I feel better than I did before. I’m definitely glad we did it, but [it’s] obviously a bump in the road.”

That bump figures to keep Peterson sidelined until at least May, knocking him out of a Grapefruit League season that otherwise would have seen him compete against Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchesi, José Butto and Max Kranick for positioning on the Mets’ rotation depth chart. Peterson remains a significant part of New York’s plans, but it could be close to midseason by the time he’s ready to contribute in a meaningful way.

For now, Peterson isn’t putting a timeline on his own progress. In Port St. Lucie, he’s been working out and playing catch off flat ground, without immediate plans to graduate to mound work.

How much the torn labrum played into his 5.03 ERA last season isn’t entirely clear, but a clean bill of health should at least give Peterson confidence once he’s ready to contribute again.

“I feel really good,” Peterson said. “Better than before. I’ve been getting after the rehab, and [I’m] excited to get back with the guys and get in the building and keep making progress.”

Fujinami arrives … sort of
The Mets officially announced their signing of reliever Shintaro Fujinami on Tuesday, but the right-hander did not take part in the first official pitcher and catcher workouts. That’s because he’s still awaiting a work visa to participate in camp. Although Fujinami is on campus and has been working out on his own, he isn’t allowed to take part in official team activities until his visa arrives.

Once he becomes a full participant, Fujinami can lean on the expertise of Kodai Senga, the other Japanese native in the clubhouse. The two played together on Japan’s 2017 World Baseball Classic team and have since hung out on occasion.

“Being Japanese players together on the same team, hopefully we can chat about things and take us both to a higher level,” Senga said through an interpreter.