Mets’ pitching depth worsens as Thomas Szapucki needs season-ending surgery

The Mets’ beleaguered pitching depth has suffered another blow. 

Lefthander Thomas Szapucki, who entered the season as the club’s 10th-ranked prospect and made his MLB debut last month, will undergo season-ending ulnar nerve transposition surgery, the Post’s Mike Puma confirmed Tuesday. 

Szapucki, 25, made his debut out of the bullpen against the Braves on June 30, allowing six runs on seven hits and three walks in 3.2 innings in a 20-2 loss.

In 10 games for Triple-A Syracuse, Szapucki pitched to a 4.10 ERA and battled command issues, walking 28 batters across 41.2 innings. 

It’s the latest setback for Szapucki, a fifth-round draft pick in 2015 who missed most of the 2017 season and all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. 

The ulnar nerve transposition surgery is not unusual following Tommy John surgery, current Mets president Sandy Alderson said in 2016 when Jacob deGrom underwent a similar procedure.

New York Mets Thomas Szapucki pitches
Thomas Szapucki
Corey Sipkin

In 2019, Szapucki rebounded with a 2.63 ERA across 61.2 innings, again flashing the potential to be a fixture in New York’s rotation. He didn’t pitch in 2020 due to minor leagues being cancelled due to the pandemic.

His injury is yet another crucial loss for a Mets’ rotation that has suffered a slew of significant injuries.

The club is still awaiting the debut of offseason acquisition Carlos Carrasco (torn hamstring) and return of Noah Syndergaard (Tommy John surgery). The Mets lost Joey Luchessi (Tommy John surgery) for the season in June, while David Peterson (strained right oblique), Robert Gsellman (torn right lat), Sean Reid-Foley (right elbow inflammation), Corey Oswalt (right knee inflammation) and Jordan Yamamoto (right shoulder soreness) all remain sidelined.

With the trade deadline set for the end of the month, Szapucki’s injury only seems to further emphasize the need for the Mets to add an arm or two to bolster the organization’s depleted depth.

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