Left-hander José Quintana won’t make his New York Mets debut until at least July because of a stress fracture in his rib.
The Mets are relieved that the prognosis wasn’t even more severe.
Mets general manager Billy Eppler told reporters Tuesday a scan revealed a lesion on the impacted rib. Quintana went to New York to visit an orthopedic tumor specialist for a biopsy and additional scans that revealed the lesion was benign.
“This was bigger than baseball,” Eppler said. “José’s got our support and anything he needs. I’m just really thankful we’re at least here as opposed to one of the other potential outcomes.”
Eppler said Quintana will have an operation Friday in New York that involves a bone graft. Eppler said recovery from the surgery will keep Quintana out until at least July 1 but didn’t offer any specifics beyond that.
“A lot will depend on if José, how soon he can do physical activity, how much down time does he need after this procedure,” Eppler said. “Does he need to take a week, or 10 days or two weeks before he can run. Because it’s a fairly involved surgery. Whenever you’re doing a bone graft, it’s going to hurt. That’s why it’s hard to set a specific timetable.”
The 34-year-old Quintana signed a $26 million, two-year contract with the Mets in December after going 6-7 with a 2.93 ERA in 32 starts with Pittsburgh and St. Louis last season. He is 89-87 with a 3.75 ERA.
Candidates to fill Quintana’s rotation spot include left-hander David Peterson and right-hander Tylor Megill. Peterson, 27, went 7-5 with a 3.83 ERA last season in 28 appearances, including 19 starts. Megill, also 27, was 4-2 with a 5.13 ERA in 15 games, including nine starts.
Peterson has struck out nine in eight shutout innings this spring training. Megill has worked 8 1/3 innings and has a 1.08 ERA with six strikeouts.
“Obviously it sucks to see one of your teammates go down with that, and I hope he gets back as quick as he can and healthy for the most part,” Peterson told reporters after he threw four hitless innings Tuesday. “But I think that has been kind of the thing all along. The front office and the coaching staff have wanted to have starting pitching depth. They made it a priority. So I guess this is kind of where it comes in handy, to have guys to choose from.”
NATS’ CAVALLI LEAVES GAME EARLY
Washington Nationals right-hander Cade Cavalli left his Tuesday start after 2 2/3 innings. Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters afterward that Cavalli felt something behind his throwing elbow.
Cavalli is expected to have an MRI on Wednesday.
The Nationals selected Cavalli out of Oklahoma with the 22nd overall pick in the 2020 draft. The 24-year-old is regarded as one of the Nationals’ top prospects.
BRAVES OPTION ANDERSON, ELDER
The Atlanta Braves optioned right-handers Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to Triple-A Gwinnett. Both players had been competing for the fifth spot in the Braves’ starting rotation.
Anderson, 24, had a promising start to his career but went 10-6 with a 5.00 ERA in 22 starts last season and was sent to the minors in early August.
Anderson went 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and followed that up by going 9-5 with a 3.58 ERA while making 24 starts in 2021. He had a 4-0 record with a 1.26 ERA in eight postseason starts from 2020-21.
He was the winning pitcher in the Braves’ 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the 2021 World Series and had a no-hitter going when he was removed after five innings.
METS RETURN GREENE TO YANKEES
The Mets returned right-handed pitcher Zach Greene to the New York Yankees three months after taking him in the winter meeting draft of unprotected players.
The Yankees assigned him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Greene, 26, went 9-0 with a 3.42 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings for Scranton last season.
TIGERS CLAIM PACHECO
The Detroit Tigers claimed right-hander Freddy Pacheco off waivers from the Cardinals.
Pacheco, who turns 25 on April 17, went 3-7 with a 3.05 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 62 innings at Double-A and Triple-A last season.
St. Louis scratched infielder Paul DeJong from their lineup Tuesday due to lower back tightness.
ORIOLES SEND HOLLIDAY TO MINOR-LEAGUE CAMP
The Baltimore Orioles reassigned shortstop Jackson Holliday, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft, to their minor-league camp.
Holliday, 19, has shown plenty of promise this spring. He has gone 5 of 13 in spring training games with with a .529 on-base percentage and a .991 OPS. ___
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