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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Jose Quintana ‘trying to be ready’ for start of season after suffering stress fracture in rib – Boston Herald

PORT ST. LUCIE — The Mets came into spring training with eight starting pitchers knowing that all eight would likely be needed at some point throughout the season. That depth is already being tested.

Imaging revealed a small stress fracture in the fifth rib of left-hander Jose Quintana on Monday and the Colombian hurler will be taken back to New York for more imaging. A timeline for his return was not provided, with the Mets saying they would update the situation “when appropriate.”

Quintana’s second Grapefruit League appearance was cut short on Sunday after the 34-year-old veteran felt tightness on his left side. The Mets removed him from the game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter and sent him back to Port St. Lucie for further examinations.

Later in the day, Quintana withdrew from the upcoming World Baseball Classic, making an announcement on Instagram. Quintana had been set to join the Colombian team in Phoenix this week. It’s a disappointing turn of events for Quintana, who had previously talked about how excited he was to represent his country in the event for the second time.

“As a professional, I am aware that without health this is not possible,” Quintana said in the social media post. “From the distance, I send the best of energies to the boys.”

Quintana also said he is “trying to be ready” for the start of the 2023 season, which begins March 30 in Miami against the Marlins.

However, it seems unlikely he will be ready by the end of the month. Quintana has a history of durability with only three injured list stints in his 11-year career. He has made 32 starts eight times, including last season when he made 32 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cardinals.

This was one of the factors that led the Mets to sign him to a two-year, $26 million contract at the Winter Meetings in December. The rotation was heavy on right-handers and Quintana was coming off the best stretch of his career, having gone 4-2 with a 1.67 ERA over his final 14 starts of the season.

The Mets have another left-handed starter in David Peterson who has been pushing for a starting spot in camp. The homegrown 27-year-old is currently considered day-to-day with a left foot contusion but the injury is not considered serious. They also have another left-hander in Joey Lucchesi, who could start the season as a starter in Triple-A or work as the long man out of the bullpen. Right-hander Tylor Megill can also be used in the rotation.

Spring training starting pitching injuries have plagued the Mets in recent seasons, with Jacob deGrom famously being unable to start on Opening Day last year. It was Megill who started in his place. This is why the club chose to hold on to Carlos Carrasco over the winter, knowing that Peterson, Megill and Lucchesi are also viable rotation options. The Mets believe starting pitching depth is the key to withstanding a 182-game schedule.


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