Mets RHP Max Scherzer did not pitch as scheduled for Saturday’s 10:30 a.m. intrasquad game at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Scherzer subsequently told reporters that he felt tightness in his hamstring before taking the mound and described it as a day-to-day injury.
Scherzer did not say either way whether he would be ready in time for Opening Day. Without injured RHP Jacob deGrom, the Mets figured to bump Scherzer into the starting spot for Thursday’s 4:05 p.m. game against the Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
“Just came from running,” Scherzer said. “I noticed something couple days ago from running. Just my hamstring just tightened up. Didn’t feel like I strained it or anything like that. Had a good recovery the past two days. Went to just go through my normal routine this morning to go for it, to make a start today and hamstring just tightened up. Played catch anyway. Fortunate enough that this doesn’t really affect when I throw, so I’m able to get into my throwing mechanics.
“But when it was time to go to the mound, I could just feel my hamstring was tight. And at that point in time, that’s when — your hamstring’s tight, you can’t go forward in a sim game 10:30 in the morning during spring training. So at that point and time, it’s just shut it down and get treatment.”
Scherzer has made two spring training appearances in his short time with the Mets, including a 90-pitch outing this past Sunday, striking out 12 batters while walking one and hitting another. Over 11 innings pitched, he has allowed three runs on six hits (one home run).
“I’ve had these little hamstring injuries before, and they go away in days,” Scherzer said. “Fortunately enough, I’ve been pretty good to not have serious hamstring injuries. I’ve just had little hiccups. And I think this is the same thing. I think this is a little hiccup. Just got to address it.
“And so, I’m working with the training staff to identify what’s causing it because it’s frustrating. I’ve really worked hard this offseason to really lift my legs heavy, do all the running. I felt like I was in a really good spot with my body and my arm. And it’s frustrating to have my arm and be at this point and have a little hiccup in my leg.”
When the sim-game action got underway, RHP Miguel Castro took the mound instead, with RHP Adam Ottavino warming up as the next pitcher in. Team PR subsequently confirmed that Scherzer was no longer pitching and would provide an update on the situation later.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported Friday, after a Carton & Roberts report earlier in the afternoon of Scherzer’s hamstring, that the Mets believed the 37-year-old would be fine to replace deGrom (shoulder).
“What I’m told from the team is that they do think, right now, that Scherzer’s going to be OK for Opening Day,” Martino said on Baseball Night in NY.