Mets’ David Peterson, Tylor Megill options to replace injured Jose Quintana

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As of early Tuesday evening, the Mets had provided no further updates on the health of Jose Quintana, who sustained “a small stress fracture on his fifth rib on his left side,” the club said a day earlier.

The Mets lefty traveled to New York — a bit late, after his flight got canceled, manager Buck Showalter said — for further examinations, the results of which had not yet been returned.

So there was no timetable available for when the middle-of-the-rotation starter could return, but Quintana being ready for Opening Day would be a stunner.

Though the next round of imaging would determine the severity of the injury, a doctor reached Monday stated it typically takes at least six weeks for stress fractures to the ribs to heal.

Such injuries can leave players, especially pitchers, sidelined for months.

“We were hoping for a little bit better news as far as what the issue was,” Showalter acknowledged before the Mets played the Astros at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. “But it’ll heal and it’ll pass, and he’ll pitch for us.”

Jose Quintana very likely will miss the opening part of the season due to a rib injury. David Paterson and Tylor Megill are options to replace him in the rotation.
Corey Sipkin for NY Post

Until then, the rotation depth will be tested immediately.

The Mets’ second wave of starters last season was a strength, and their reinforcements entering this season remain the same.

David Peterson and Tylor Megill have been stretching out as starting depth rather than anticipating they would be used in the bullpen.

Peterson, who sustained a foot contusion on a comebacker Saturday, said he still feels soreness but the injury is not serious.

He threw a side session Tuesday and will be skipped Thursday — with Venezuelan Jose Butto expected to start in an exhibition game against Team Venezuela — but should not be sidelined long.

Peterson said nothing changes for his work or his mindset after Quintana’s injury.

With a rotation featuring 40-year-old Justin Verlander, 38-year-old Max Scherzer, 35-year-old Carlos Carrasco, 30-year-old Kodai Senga and the 34-year-old Quintana, Peterson understood entering camp he and Megill likely would be needed at some point.

David Peterson
David Peterson
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

“There’s been a lot of attention as to the average age of our starting rotation as it stands. You look at last year, we didn’t make it out of spring training with five healthy starters,” Peterson said after Jacob deGrom missed the first four months of last season.

“I don’t think it really needed to be said. I think we understood where we stand.

“The likelihood of those guys making 30 starts each is highly unlikely. At some point, something’s going to happen.”

It happened quickly and to perhaps the rotation’s most dependable starter.

Quintana started 32 games last season, has accumulated more than 1,700 major league innings in 11 years and has pitched more than 160 innings in a season eight times.

Tylor Megill
Tylor Megill
Corey Sipkin for the NY Post

Showalter said he was not sure if Quintana had felt anything in his rib preceding Sunday, when he was limited to one scoreless inning and exited citing left side tightness.

“Sometimes, when you got a guy who’s been as healthy as he has [been], you’re used to having [nagging] things and you go pitch and it’s not really an issue,” Showalter said.

Quintana was the only lefty in a strong Mets rotation.

Peterson, a lefty, could make the most sense as a fill-in, though Showalter said handedness would not be a consideration because he wants “the best pitcher available.”

The Mets could settle on Megill, who posted a 1.93 ERA in five April starts last season before injuries wrenched the rest of his season.

Further depth options include Jose Butto, Joey Lucchesi and Elieser Hernandez, all of whom could begin the season in the Triple-A Syracuse rotation.

With a rotation as veteran as the Mets’, they planned for these hiccups.

As of Tuesday evening, they were hoping Quintana’s setback qualified as a hiccup and not a gut-punch.

“[Rotation depth is] something that Billy [Eppler, GM] and the front office have been very adamant about,” Showalter said. “We’re in position to do that. But it does take one more notch down on the depth list.”

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