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The Mets are fighting for a wild card spot, as they’re nine games back of the Nationals in the NL East. Said fight just became that much more difficult, though, as, on Tuesday, New York learned that Neil Walker’s back and Steven Matz’s shoulder were both still problems, and that the season could be over for one or both players. With just over a month of baseball to go in the regular season, maybe the Mets can still make it to the postseason, but they were already lagging behind three other teams in the NL Wild Card race, with another just a game back of them.
With Walker, he might still be able to play, but his playing time will have to be managed for the rest of the season. So, it’s something like the David Wright situation the Mets were dealing with at the start of the year, where Walker is around, yeah, but might not be available or productive depending on how his back feels. That’s no small thing for New York, given Walker is batting .283/.347/.476 and is second on the team in OPS+ behind Yoenis Cespedes. It’s also not great news for Walker’s free agency, as he was in line for a qualifying offer and a lucrative deal after this season, but his back might stand in the way of that.
As for Matz, he already had elbow issues earlier in the year, and now it’s his shoulder. While there are no reported structural issues, Mets’ manager Terry Collins is concerned that Matz will have to be shut down for the rest of 2016. Considering New York tends to downplay the severity of injuries even when it’s clear something is wrong, hearing an official actually admit there is a problem should probably send you into a panic if you’re a fan. The Mets already lost Matt Harvey and Wright for the year. Zack Wheeler made one rehab appearance in early August, then it was off to Dr. Andrews again for elbow soreness. The Mets’ season isn’t over, not yet, but losing Matz and Walker on top of the above isn’t likely to make their year any longer, either.
- Tigers’ prospect JaCoby Jones got a surprise call-up, and then his first MLB hit. Mom was very excited.
- Coco Crisp doesn’t have to worry about if the A’s are messing with his playing time anymore, as he’s been traded back to the team he debuted with in 2002, the Indians.
- Speaking of the Indians, Zach McAllister had a kick save on a ball hit back at him on Tuesday.
- Something is wrong with Jake Arrieta, and Jeff Sullivan tried to figure out what it is.
- These are the three forgotten trades that are powering 2016’s pennant races.
- Tim Tebow’s baseball workout was ... fine. It wasn’t terrible! It also wasn’t great. He was fine.
- The Red Sox have a lengthy history. Mookie Betts is inserting himself into it with his 2016.
- Yankees’ rookie Gary Sanchez is having himself a fantastic debut month, one Ben Lindbergh tried to process. Don’t have time for an article? That’s what Twitter is for.
- Yasiel Puig was reportedly claimed on waivers by, wait for it ... a mystery team.
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