The New York Mets' 2023 season isn't starting with the best news.
The team announced Thursday — also known as Opening Day — that starting pitcher Justin Verlander will be placed on the injured list due to a low-grade teres major strain.
Justin Verlander will be placed on the IL with a low grade teres major strain. He will continue throwing at moderate intensity and we will rescan in a week. We will provide an update at that time.
— New York Mets (@Mets) March 30, 2023
The teres major is a muscle deep in the shoulder, one of the many muscles a pitcher such as Verlander needs to throw a ball 90 mph.
Even so, when he spoke to the media Thursday, Verlander was pretty optimistic about his prognosis and said he doesn't expect to miss much time.
"This isn't best-case scenario. But I would think this is probably second-base case. Very minimal."
Justin Verlander on his injury: pic.twitter.com/9AbNwJN8rZ
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 30, 2023
The Mets have been dealing with injured players for weeks now. Their lights-out closer, Edwin Diaz, hurt his knee while celebrating at the World Baseball Classic and will miss the season. They're also currently without starting pitcher Jose Quintana and bullpen arm Sam Coonrod.
It might seem like a very Mets thing for one of their aces to go down before their first game even starts. And the fact that it's 40-year-old Verlander, who was signed in the offseason to pair with 38-year-old starter Max Scherzer, probably doesn't give fans a lot of confidence. But there's still plenty of time for the Mets to prove that they don't need Verlander as much as people think — or that they really, really do.