ATLANTA — The Mets received what they consider “good news” on Taijuan Walker’s sore back Wednesday, but that might not preclude the right-hander from missing his next start.
Walker departed his outing Tuesday after only two innings, with what the Mets termed as back spasms. According to manager Buck Showalter, a subsequent MRI exam Wednesday didn’t reveal any structural damage.
“Pretty good news, all things considered on the MRI,” Showalter said before the Mets’ 9-7 win over the Braves. “I think Sunday’s start is in jeopardy, but we are still going to hold out hope it manages before that and we’ll just go day to day right now.”
The Mets already have David Peterson and Trevor Williams in the rotation to pitch a doubleheader Saturday at the Phillies. Williams is replacing Carlos Carrasco, who is on the injured list with a left oblique strain.
Among the potential options for Sunday if Walker can’t pitch is Jose Butto from Triple-A Syracuse.
Pete Alonso plans to represent Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. The Mets first baseman said he was recently asked to participate and accepted the invitation.
“There’s a lot of really amazing guys on the team so far and it’s a great opportunity and I just feel lucky to be a part of it,” Alonso said.
The tournament was last held in 2017, when Alonso was still playing in the minor leagues. Alonso said he considered at the time the possibility he might get to represent the USA.
“It looked like an incredible environment and it’s an incredibly fun event,” Alonso said. “I always wanted to play in it. It’s an honor to play for the Stars and Stripes.”
Tomas Nido, who is on the COVID list, could return this weekend in Philadelphia, according to Showalter.
Joey Lucchesi is scheduled to pitch an inning for Single-A St. Lucie on Sunday in his first rehab appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. The left-hander could be a bullpen option for the Mets when he is ready.
Tylor Megill threw 20 pitches in live batting practice in his rehab from a right shoulder strain. Megill is expected to pitch from the bullpen upon his return.
Tommy Hunter will likely return from the IL Sunday, according to Showalter. The right-hander has been on the IL since Aug. 6 because of back tightness.