Jeff McNeil wasn’t in the Mets’ starting lineup Friday night, and it had nothing to do with Toronto starting a left-hander on the mound.
The Mets’ second baseman, carrying an 11-game hitting streak, is dealing with “left leg fatigue,” manager Luis Rojas said before the Mets blanked the Blue Jays, 3-0, at Citi Field. Rojas declined to say what part of McNeil’s leg is bothering him, but he didn’t play Friday and is unlikely to start Saturday.
“The performance [staff] is being extra cautious with him, just because this takes him back to a similar spot to where he was when he got hurt [at Tampa Bay],” Rojas said. “They are being extremely cautious with him.”
Rojas was referring to the five weeks McNeil missed with a hamstring strain earlier this season. During a game against the Orioles on May 11, the Mets said McNeil had cramps. Five days later, he suffered the hamstring injury against the Rays.
McNeil appeared to do something to his left leg in his final at-bat on Wednesday at Cincinnati. He was taken out of the game and it appears as if he will at least miss a few starts, as the Mets play it safe. Luis Guillorme started in McNeil’s place at second base and went 1-for-3.
“We’ll see how he is [on Saturday],” Rojas said of McNeil. “Chances are low that he starts [on Saturday].”
Rojas didn’t rule out Carlos Carrasco making his Mets debut in the series finale against the Blue Jays or in Monday’s doubleheader against the Braves, but he said a decision has not yet been made on the next step for the right-hander.
Carrasco, who has yet to pitch this season at the big league level after tearing his right hamstring in spring training, allowed five runs and three home runs in a rehabilitation assignment for Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday. He threw 41 pitches in the outing, which lasted just 1 ²/₃ innings.
“We’ve talked about Sunday, we even talked about Monday,” Rojas said. “Those conversations are just brewing about where his next start is going to be. … We talked about our needs, but even before our needs the priority here is ‘Cookie,’ that he’s 100 percent, that’s he’s OK.”
Jacob deGrom was expected to play catch Friday for the third consecutive day and Rojas said the team’s ace is “progressing well.” DeGrom is on the injured list with right forearm tightness and hasn’t pitched since July 7.
Hall of Famer Mike Piazza attended the game with Sarah Seaver, the daughter of the late Tom Seaver.