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The starting rotation for the New York Mets, and one of its key individuals took a significant blow on Tuesday.
News broke recently that pitcher Jose Quintana had a significant rib injury that would keep him out for several months.
The nature of the injury itself however, was a bit uncertain.
Initially, it was reported by the New York Post that it was a stress fracture.
Mets General Manager Billy Eppler, however, then told reporters that rumors of a months-long absence were overblown.
But Tuesday, Eppler confirmed a much scarier diagnosis. Quintana had a “lesion” on his rib, and had seen a tumor specialist.
Thankfully, with the results being benign, the worst has been avoided. But the bone graft surgery will keep him out likely until the All-Star break. At best.
Quintana’s Absence Could Impact Mets Significantly
The Mets made Quintana one of their key acquisitions over the winter. And, along with Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga, he was supposed to help shore up the rotation.
The front office quickly realized that after Jacob deGrom left for the Texas Rangers, they could add length to the pitching staff with multiple additions.
Quintana had struggled significantly in prior seasons, but recovered in 2022. While winning just six games, he had a 2.93 ERA with the Pirates and Cardinals. His underlying metrics supported that performance, with just a 2.99 FIP.
His performance actually improved after being dealt to the middle of a pennant race in St. Louis.
In 12 starts, he had just a 2.01 ERA and contributed 1.8 WAR.
He’s also not the first high profile New York free agent acquisition to suffer an injury this spring.
READ: YANKEES NEW $162 MILLION PITCHER IS ALREADY HURT, WILL MISS THE START OF THE SEASON
Obviously the key concern, first and foremost, is for his health. The Mets though, will now likely be forced to slot Tylor Megill into the rotation.
Verlander, Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco and Senga are still a dangerous top four. But Quintana provided depth that’s no longer there.
Assuming he is able to recover in time to return this season, it’ll provide a significant second half boost in Queens.
But if it’s hard for him to get back on the mound relatively quickly, it could prove quite problematic for the Mets.