Mets Injury Jinx Continues, Frazier Joins Lowrie on Shelf

A new year hasn’t done much to change the luck of the New York Mets when it comes to injuries.

The Mets announced on Tuesday that veteran infielder Todd Frazier strained his left oblique and will be flying back to New York to receive a cortisone shot. While it is not believed to be a major injury, there is no timetable on when he will rejoin the team back at spring training down in Florida.

“I was hitting the ball great and at the end, I just felt a little tightness in my left side,” Frazier said. “It’s a new injury, just something I have to deal with… Not the best thing, but luckily it happened in spring training and we can nip this in the bud.”

“I thought I was doing everything right,” he continued. “It’s just one of those things that happen, I guess. But it’s frustrating. I’m very frustrated with myself.”It’s already the second injury to a third baseman encountered by the Mets this spring, which has cut into its infield depth. Newly-acquired Jed Lowrie, who signed a two-year, $20 million contract this winter, is questionable for Opening Day after suffering a knee sprain.

Lowrie had played in at least 150 games in each of the last two seasons, suggesting that some past injury woes were firmly behind him. He played in a combined 156 games from 2015-2016.

The injury bug continues to follow Frazier since he moved to Queens prior to the 2018 season. Having never hit the disabled list in his first six MLB seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and New York  Yankees, the 33-year-old went on two-separate DL stints during his first year with the Mets last year, limiting him to just 115 games. He hit 18 home runs with 58 RBI, his worst statistical season when playing in more than 100 games.

Both Lowrie and Frazier were expected to be entrenched in a battle for the starting third-base role this season, forcing Jeff McNeil to split time as a utility infielder and outfielder despite his strong showing during his rookie campaign in 2018.

Initial projections had Lowrie taking over the hot corner while Frazier started the season at first base until highly-touted prospect Peter Alonso was called up.

Now with no set return for either of the third-base favorites, McNeil is poised to be the starter while the likes of Adeiny Hechavarria, J.D. Davis, TJ Rivera, and Luis Guillorme challenge for playing time down in Port St. Lucie.