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Mets ace Kodai Senga receives shoulder injection, shut down for three weeks



The New York Mets now have a rough timeline for Kodai Senga’s recovery from a right shoulder injury.


Manager Carlos Mendoza told the media Sunday morning that their ace starting pitcher had returned to New York from their spring training home in Port St.


Lucie to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection in his shoulder.


He’s been shut down for three weeks. Then, depending on how Senga’s shoulder feels, he’ll resume a throwing program.


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Since spring training is barely a week old, Senga will be starting pretty much at the very beginning when his shoulder is feeling better.


A full spring ramp up is typically six weeks, so he’ll likely be spending at least the first month of the regular season on the injured list. And that’s the best-case scenario.


This is a setback for the Mets, especially since Senga was likely going to be their Opening Day starter, but it does give them a chance to find something they may need: a sixth starter.


Finding a reliable sixth starter might be the key to keeping Senga’s numbers up in 2024. In 2023, he put up a 2.98 ERA with 202 strikeouts over 166 1/3 innings.


He hadn’t pitched that many innings in a single season since 2019, averaging around 128 innings from 2020-22 in Japan, but the Mets were able to manage that jump by having Senga pitch once a week


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(every sixth day, which is how often starters pitch in NBP) instead of every fifth day, as is common in MLB.


He made 17 starts on five days’ rest in 2023, compared to just three on four days’ rest.


But to make that arrangement work, the Mets need another starter in their rotation.


So the glass-half-full take on Senga’s injury is that his absence will allow the Mets to find a reliable sixth starter to keep around after Senga comes back.


That doesn’t do much to cushion the blow of the Mets losing their ace for at least the first month of the regular season, but there really aren’t a lot of ways to spin that positively.


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