MIAMI -- At a Spring Training photoshoot last year on one of those bright, optimistic Port St. Lucie, Fla., mornings, the Mets gathered all their finest starting pitchers onto the field. Jacob deGrom stood alongside Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, a Rushmore of pitching talent shoulder
MIAMI -- At a Spring Training photoshoot last year on one of those bright, optimistic Port St. Lucie, Fla., mornings, the Mets gathered all their finest starting pitchers onto the field. Jacob deGrom stood alongside Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, a Rushmore of pitching talent shoulder to shoulder.
"I don't even know where they all are right now," manager Terry Collins quipped last weekend.
The majority of that group is idling on the disabled list, as are several of its alternate members. Joining the legions of injured Mets starters on Tuesday, Robert Gsellman strained his left hamstring in a 6-3 loss to the Marlins. Although the Mets won't know the severity of Gsellman's strain until he undergoes an MRI exam on Wednesday, he is likely about to join Syndergaard, Wheeler and Harvey on the DL.
"We're dropping like flies," Gsellman said. "It lets the team down. Losing players is never fun."
Recovering from a three-run first inning to hold the Marlins scoreless in the second and third, Gsellman came to the plate in the top of the fourth with a chance to further a Mets rally. Hitting a grounder to the right side of the infield, Gsellman sprinted as Marlins pitcher Dan Straily had the ball bounce off his glove, forcing second baseman Dee Gordon to adjust on the fly. But when Gsellman neared first base, his left hamstring grabbed.
Gordon completed the putout while Gsellman stood hunched over beyond first base, eventually limping off alongside trainer Ray Ramirez.
"It was unfortunate for Gsellman that he was hurt on the play," Straily said. "You wonder, if I had fielded it cleanly if any of that would have happened."
The Mets don't have the luxury of wondering. Even in stumbling out to a 6.16 ERA this season, Gsellman had at least been durable, starting 14 games and appearing three times in relief. His likely DL stint means that Rafael Montero, who pitched well Sunday in a spot start for Wheeler, will make another start at some point this weekend. Recovering from right biceps tendinitis, Wheeler could return from the DL as soon as Saturday.
But that will hardly make the rotation whole. At the tail end of a month that has seen the Mets place Asdrubal Cabrera, Josh Smoker, Harvey, Juan Lagares, Neil Walker and Wheeler on the DL, Gsellman's hamstring strain dragged their year-long battle with injuries back into the spotlight. All told, the Mets have placed 16 different players on the DL this season, including five of their top seven starting pitchers. Gsellman will make it six of seven, with deGrom the only exception.
General manager Sandy Alderson recently said that the team has reviewed its medical, training and strength and conditioning practices. But that has not resulted in a healthier team.
"If it was a common occurrence, if it was leg injuries, then yes," Collins said when asked if the Mets' issues extend beyond luck. "Then I think we'd need to examine it. But when you've got the variety of injuries that we've had -- a lat, a scapula, a hamstring, a partial tear in the ligament, loose [bodies] -- there's no one description. It just gets a little frustrating at times to continue to see them go down."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.