NEW YORK — Already ailing, the New York Mets scratched pitcher Jacob deGrom from his start Friday night against Washington because of a stiff neck and put first baseman Lucas Duda and infielder Wilmer Flores on the 10-day disabled list.
The banged-up Mets were minus more than them: Slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was likely to miss the three-game series because of a hamstring injury, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was out of the lineup with a hamstring problem and catcher Travis d'Arnaud was sidelined with a bruised right wrist.
"I've got a good team," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "They're only good when they're playing."
A year after the Mets were beset by a bunch of key injuries while still earning an NL wild-card spot, Collins admitted the early-season rash of mishaps has "been a little frustrating."
Duda has a hyperextended left elbow and Flores has an infected right knee. Left-hander Sean Gilmartin and infielder T.J. Rivera were recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas — a day earlier, Gilmartin was sent down to the minors in a series of roster moves that included transferring third baseman David Wright to the 60-day disabled list while recovering from neck surgery.
Matt Harvey moved up a day to start in place of deGrom on regular rest. Collins said that if deGrom wasn't able to pitch Saturday against the NL East-leading Nationals, then Gilmartin would start instead.
DeGrom's setback was the latest to seemingly come out of nowhere. Collins said it was "up in the air" whether he'd be able to start Saturday, but said deGrom was feeling better.
Cespedes limped out of Thursday night's loss to Philadelphia in the fifth inning. Collins said it was more than a mere cramp but that tests showed it wasn't too serious. Collins said would be prudent to give players a day or two or three off, especially in damp, cool weather, rather than risk losing them "for three or four weeks."
Collins said it "has not been determined" how many days Cespedes would miss.
The injuries prompted the Mets to play a makeup lineup in the series opener. Jose Reyes shifted from third base to his old spot at shortstop, Rivera started at third and Juan Lagares was in centre.