WASHINGTON — With Cy Young Award winners Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer unavailable for opening day, sophomore right-hander Tylor Megill was given the Game 1 starting task for the New York Mets against the Washington Nationals.
New Mets manager Buck Showalter announced Megill’s role for Thursday during New York’s practice at Nationals Park on Wednesday. The Nationals, who are without Stephen Strasburg as he continues to return from surgery, will send left-hander Patrick Corbin to the mound.
DeGrom, the 2018 and 2019 NL Cy Young Award recipient, is expected to miss several weeks due to an issue with his right shoulder blade. Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young winner who joined the Mets on a three-year, $130 million deal as a free agent this offseason, has been struggling with a right hamstring issue that has produced at the end of spring training.
Scherzer pitched on flat ground in the outfield on Wednesday. Showalter said the former Nationals pitcher will practice on the field Thursday before a decision is made on whether he can start Game 2 of the season on Friday.
“I hope everything will be fine tomorrow,” Showalter said.
If Scherzer doesn’t pitch in Game 2, the manager said, he could drop further in the rotation or be held off until after an April 14 bye that precedes the Mets’ home opener the next day.
Tomorrow’s opening has been postponed to 7:05 p.m. instead of 4:05 p.m. due to bad weather.
Showalter informed Megill of his selection for Thursday’s game during practice at the stadium.
Megill is a 26-year-old Californian who is 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds. He went 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 starts, racking up 99 strikeouts in 89 2/3 innings, for the Mets in 2021 after making his major league debut in June.
OF Brandon Nimmo said his stiff neck felt “much better” in practice on Wednesday, but he couldn’t say for sure if he would play on Thursday. Nimmo felt a tight neck during an exhibition game on Sunday and said Wednesday it was a “range of motion” issue that affects things such as turning to look at the pitcher while ‘he hits. … The Mets signed RHP John Curtiss to a one-year major league deal with a club option for 2023. The 29-year-old reliever underwent reconstructive elbow surgery last August and will not compete this season in the Premier League. of 60 days. … In other moves, New York selected the contracts of LHP Chasen Shreve and OF Travis Jankowski and named INF Travis Blankenhorn and RHP Jordan Yamamoto for assignment.