According to MLB.com, LHP Thomas Szapucki has been diagnosed with a left shoulder impingement, and will not be on one of the rosters of the Mets’ full-season affiliates to begin the season. Instead, the 20-year-old will be rehabbing with the staff at the Mets’ complex in Port St. Lucie.
The injury is similar to what Mets 3B David Wright was diagnosed with in March.
Szapucki was expected to start the year with the Columbia Fireflies, after putting up one of the most dominant seasons by a minor league starter in 2016. In nine starts between Kingsport (R) and Brooklyn (SS-A), Szapucki went 4-3 with a 1.38 ERA in 52 innings, in which he struck out 86 batters. His 14.9 strikeouts per nine innings was good for seventh among qualified pitchers in the minor leagues.
Szapucki’s season, however, was cut short on August 20, when he was scratched from his start that night with the Cyclones due to back stiffness. Team doctors found no structural damage with his back, but Szapucki had been dealing with the issue for weeks before he made his last start of the season on August 12.
There is no timetable for his return, although Szapucki is expected to join the Columbia Fireflies when healthy.