Justin Verlander placed on IL by Mets

Verlander IL
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The New York Mets will need both Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer to be at their best in 2023 if they want a shot at the World Series. After Opening Day, that may be in jeopardy. As the Mets placed Verlander on the IL with a low-grade muscle strain near his pitching shoulder, Thursday.

The injury is to Verlander’s teres major (a muscle that connects the scapula to the upper arm). The injury doesn’t appear to be an immediate concern as he can continue working out with “moderate intensity” and will be due for a reevaluation scheduled for next week.

It appeared before Verlander was able to step on the mound in the 2023 regular season. Happening during a bullpen session on Wednesday after his velocity fell in his final spring training start.

“This isn’t best-case scenario,” Verlander told the media in Miami. “But I would think this is probably second-best case. Very minimal.”

The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner was scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Miami Marlins, which would have been his regular-season Mets debut after signing a two-year, $86.66 million deal this offseason. The Mets have been hit with the injury bug early this season with Edwin Diaz rupturing his patellar tendon during the WBC. The team is also currently without starter Jose Quintana and reliever Sam Coonrod.

Verlander, 40, expressed confidence that the injury was minor, adding that he would pitch through an injury like this during the postseason. While, Verlander may be on the IL for a short time to start the season. He did miss all of 2021 with TJ surgery before putting together one of the best seasons of his career in 2022. He finished with an 18-4 record and posted a 1.75 ERA in 175 innings for the Houston Astros en route to his third Cy Young award.

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