An already-exasperating season for the New York Mets has hit a new rock bottom over the last 10-12 hours. First, the team suffered arguably its worst loss of the year, coughing up six unanswered runs over the final three innings of a 13-10 defeat to the rival Atlanta Braves that dropped them to 30-33 — now 8.5 games back in the NL East. As if that wasn’t bad enough, New York will now have to try and close that gap without the heart and soul of its lineup, as first baseman Pete Alonso is headed to the IL with a wrist injury.
Pete Alonso is going on the injured list for the Mets.— Mike Mayer (@mikemayer22) June 9, 2023
Alonso first suffered the injury on Wednesday night when he was hit in the wrist by a 97-mph Charlie Morton fastball. X-rays came back negative, but the two-time All-Star was apparently in enough pain that the Mets sent him back to New York yesterday to undergo further testing. Those tests apparently revealed both a bone bruise and a sprain of Alonso’s left wrist, with a timetable for return of around 3-4 weeks.
After undergoing additional imaging, Pete Alonso has been diagnosed with a bone bruise and a sprain of his left wrist. He has been placed on the IL. A typical return to play for this type of injury is approximately 3-4 weeks.— New York Mets (@Mets) June 9, 2023
However long he winds up out, any sort of extended absence for Alonso is a brutal blow to the Mets’ chances. Amid a maddeningly inconsistent season for the team’s star-studded lineup, the Polar Bear has been the one constant, mashing his way to a 138 OPS+ with 22 homers and 49 RBI while playing in 62 of a possible 63 games. (Francisco Lindor is the only other New York regular with double-digit homers and at least 40 RBI, and the star shortstop is hitting just .219 right now.)
There’s obviously no easy replacement for that sort of production in the heart of the lineup. Top prospect Mark Vientos would seem a likely candidate to soak up some of the plate appearances at first base, but he hasn’t been able to translate his monster Triple-A numbers to the Majors, slashing just .188/.206/.281 over his first 12 games. Other internal options include names like Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme, neither of whom inspire a ton of confidence. It’s possible the Mets could look to waivers for a stop-gap solution, such as current free agent (and former Yankees slugger) Luke Voit.