Tylor Megill lands on 15-day injured list with biceps injury

Tylor Megill, who has a pretty bad last start in Washington last Thursday, has been put on the injured list. (Alex Brandon/AP)

The Mets rotation has taken another hit.

Tylor Megill was placed on the 15-day injured list with right biceps inflammation, the club announced on Sunday. He promptly underwent an MRI, which revealed right biceps tendinitis. The Mets will shut Megill down from throwing for a few days, the team said in a statement, and reassess his plan afterwards. Right-hander Colin Holderman was called up from Triple-A Syracuse.

“It just creeped up,” said Megill, who is dealing with biceps tendinitis for the first time in his career. “I was worried just because … I know what soreness feels like and this wasn’t that. I was a little freaked out about it. But the (MRI) results came back really well, so not too bad. Not worried.”

The injury news arrived after Megill’s worst start of the season, to date. The righty struggled against a bottom-tier Nationals lineup last Wednesday, getting tabbed for eight earned runs on eight hits in just 1.1 innings. Just five weeks prior, Megill overpowered the very same Nationals lineup, cruising through five scoreless innings on Opening Day.

Megill’s biceps tendinitis could be the reason behind his unusual disappointing outing last week. But, depending on the severity of the injury and his time missed on the IL, it could also spell trouble for the Mets rotation. For now, Megill believes he could spend the minimum on the IL, which would pencil in his return for sometime during the team’s next homestand, beginning May 27, against the Phillies and Nationals.

“Technically I could throw through it,” said Megill, who first felt the discomfort the morning after his start in Washington. “But obviously you don’t want it to linger or get worse. So taking it one day at a time right now.”

Megill carried a 2.43 ERA into his meltdown at Nationals Park. His early success this season arrived at just the right time, with the injured Jacob deGrom opening the year on the IL with a stress reaction on his right scapula. Megill’s 5-2 record over seven starts into 2022 helped the organization ease the pain of losing deGrom to begin the year.

But Megill means significantly more to this team than only serving as a deGrom replacement.

Megill has grown into a prominent member of the Mets rotation, one that helped contribute to the second no-hitter in franchise history late last month and goes by the nickname “Big Drip” within the clubhouse. Megill’s 25.7 strikeout percentage is third-best among Mets starters, living up there with Chris Bassitt (26.9%) and Max Scherzer (32.5%). His rise, following his 2021 rookie season, quickly gained a large following among the Flushing faithful.

“Really tough,” said Brandon Nimmo on losing Megill to the IL. “We’d been so good with the pitching. We want everyone, regardless of who it is, to be healthy, to be able to help out in their capacity and to not try and pitch through anything that they feel like is a detriment to themselves and their career. We want our guys to be healthy and be able to help out in their way, whatever way that is.”

Now, the Mets will look internally to fill yet another hole in the pitching staff.

As far as an immediate bandage, left-hander David Peterson is the obvious choice to jump into the rotation. But Megill was scheduled to start in the series opener against the Cardinals as soon as Monday, and Peterson just pitched for Triple-A Syracuse on Friday, hurling six scoreless innings against Scranton, making him unavailable for Monday’s St. Louis outing.

Trevor Williams pitched after Megill’s early exit in Washington last Wednesday, so he is the likely candidate to start against the Cardinals on Monday. Williams, who held the Nationals to 3.2 scoreless innings last week, has a 5.73 ERA in five games and 11 innings this season. Williams’ last and only previous start for the Mets this year was on April 23 in Arizona, when he coughed up four earned runs on seven hits in two innings against the Diamondbacks.

“We need to continue to work hard,” said Carlos Carrasco, expressing confidence that the rotation can overcome Megill’s absence.