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New York Mets Kodai Senga to start season on injured list

New York Mets ace Kodai Senga will start the season on the injured list, the team announced on Thursday.

Senga underwent an MRI, which revealed that he has a moderate right posterior capsule strain, according to Anthony DiComo of The Mets won’t have him throwing again until his symptoms subside and his strength returns to normal levels.

“We don't expect him to be ready for Opening Day, so at this point we would expect him to begin the season on the IL,” Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “What I can say at this point comfortably is that we don't expect Opening Day, but I do expect him to make a bunch of starts this year.”

Stearns added that he doesn’t know how long Senga will be out right now. The ace pitcher signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Mets in December 2022. Last year as a rookie Senga went 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA in 29 starts. He was also an All-Star, finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting, and was seventh in NL CY Young Award voting.

Senga starting the season on the injured list isn’t a big deal. In the offseason, the Mets signed Luis Severino and Sean Manaea and acquired Adrian Houser in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. Tylor Megill, Joey Lucchesi, and José Butto are the likely candidates to take Senga’s spot in the rotation while he’s out. The Mets also have Max Kranick and prospects Christian Scott, Mike Vasil, and Dominic Hamel, who could take Senga’s rotation spot if need be.

Senga was the favorite to be the Mets starter on Opening Day. Now it will probably be either Severino, Manaea, or Houser starting Opening Day. The Mets and their rotation will be fine while Senga is out.

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