The New York Mets have been dealt a crushing blow, as left-handed relief pitcher Josh Edgin will miss the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery, as reported by Adam Rubin of ESPN.
With Edgin lost, the team will have to replenish their left-handed relief core. While there, they do have some in-house candidates to replace the injured lefty, none of them are as established.
Edgin, 28, was expected to be the primary left-handed option for the team this year. The Pennsylvania native enjoyed the best season of his major league career last year. In 47 games, he pitched to a 1.32 ERA out of the bullpen. With the best year of his career under his belt, the team felt confident in Edgin to replicate that success.
Looking at his decision to get surgery instead of rehab, Edgin, who will go under the knife this week in Manhattan, knows that he’s making the right decision for two simple reasons, as he told NJ.com.
“My future in baseball and my family.”
In the grand scheme, it’s wise for Edgin to get the surgery now and have a better chance of making comeback. Fellow Mets teammate and Tommy John surgery victim Matt Harvey tried to rehab the injury when he suffered a tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in 2013. That proved to the wrong course of action, as he underwent the procedure regardless.
A pitcher’s worst nightmare, the dreaded Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery is grown to be an epidemic within baseball over the last few years. The Mets could make the case that they’ve had it worse than anybody. Over the past 18 months, four different pitchers will have undergone the procedure. In addition to Edgin and Harvey, pitchers Jeremy Hefner and Bobby Parnell also needed the surgery.
Hefner actually had that surgery on two occasions as he attempts to make it back to the majors.
Among the candidates to replace Edgin are pitchers Sean Gilmartin, Dario Alvarez, Jack Leathersich, and Dario Alvarez. In that group, the only two pitchers who have major league experience are Alvarez and Rice. However, Rice is the only one to experience any success at the major league level, as Alvarez only pitched in four games last year.
Thus, the Mets will likely have to go outside of the organization to secure a more “sure thing” as far as left-handed options go. It will be hard to find somebody to acquire right away, but once teams begin making cuts toward the end of the spring, several cheap and potentially high-upside options should present themselves.
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