The New York Mets remain a competitive baseball team that happens to occupy first place in the National League East division with a 48-42 record.
They are, however, one of the weakest division leaders in MLB, playing in a division of mediocre teams to this point.
Only the Philadelphia Phillies, at 47-45, are above .500 besides the Mets, and everyone else has more losses than wins, including the preseason favorites Atlanta Braves and the 2019 World Series champions, the Washington Nationals.
The Mets were rolling along for most of May and June even when they were going through one of the worst injury crises a team has experienced in recent memory.
New York had, at one moment, 17 players on the injured list.
The Mets officially put Johneshwy Fargas on the 10-day injured list with a left AC joint sprain.
The Mets have 17 players on the IL.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) May 26, 2021
An Unprecedented Injury Crisis
They seem to have a curse on them this year, as they have been without Jacob deGrom, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Pillar, Albert Almora Jr., Pete Alonso, Luis Guillorme, Taijuan Walker, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, Joey Lucchesi, Seth Lugo, Dellin Betances, and Robert Gsellman, at different moments throughout the season.
Some of them are out for the remainder of the year, others have suffered setback after setback (Davis and Carrasco come to mind), while some are expected back soon.
Let’s not forget that second baseman Robinson Cano, who is currently under contract, is not playing this year after being busted for performance-enhancing drugs.
Injuries have undoubtedly been a theme for the 2021 Mets.
But now, they will be without deGrom and star shortstop Francisco Lindor for the foreseeable future.
How Long Will They Be Without Lindor And DeGrom?
DeGrom, who owns a fantastic 1.08 ERA, has suffered oblique, elbow, and shoulder issues in 2021, but has managed to overcome them all.
This time, however, he is dealing with continued right forearm tightness.
He threw a bullpen before the All-Star break and reported the issue, waited a few days, and then threw during the break and felt it again.
This time, manager Luis Rojas said he will be shut down indefinitely until he doesn’t feel soreness or tightness.
Just with deGrom’s season alone, you would think the Mets are undergoing some kind of a curse.
Of course, the notion that a team can be ‘cursed’ is more playful than anything else, but their bad luck with injuries have been hard to watch.
— LauraH 🐾😎⚾️ (@SheaLolaHondo) July 18, 2021
And if that weren’t enough, their most expensive position player and leader, Lindor, will also be on the shelf for a while.
During weekend play, the star infielder suffered a Grade 2 oblique strain, which can be a very tricky injury.
Oblique injuries can take a while to fully heal, especially if they are Grade 2 like Lindor’s.
The Mets may be active in the trade market as they try to hang on to the two-game lead they have over the Phillies.
If they manage to pull it off and make the playoffs as the NL East champions with all their injuries, they deserve a statue outside of Citi Field.
In the end, when all is said and done, Mets fans will look back to the 2021 season and appreciate how they were able to field a competitive roster night in and night out after all the physical ailments they had to endure.