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Mets' pitching staff takes two more hits

Major League BaseballBaseballNew York MetsJeremy HefnerWashington NationalsMLB Rookie of the Year AwardTerry Collins

The Sports Xchange

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange

Mets' pitching staff takes two more hits

NEW YORK -- No baseball team needs to be told about the fragility of pitchers. Unfortunately for the New York Mets, they received two more reminders last week.

Right-hander Jacob deGrom, who surged into the National League Rookie of the Year race by winning six of nine starts between June 21 and Aug. 7, came down with a sore shoulder after his Thursday start against the Washington Nationals. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday.

Fellow right-hander Jeremy Hefner's recovery from Tommy John surgery hit an unexpected road block Aug. 6, when he was pulled from a rehab start due to a sore forearm. Hefner was diagnosed with another tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow as well as a stress fracture. He is expected to undergo another Tommy John surgery.

"The doctors say there's no amount of innings, there's no amount of throws when all of a sudden something's going to happen," Mets manager Terry Collins said Tuesday afternoon. "No matter how hard you try to protect a guy from injury, if they're going to go down, they're going to go down. That's why you've got to have pitching in reserve."

The one thing the Mets have in abundance is young starting pitching. And while many believe the Mets should improve their anemic offense by trading homegrown hurlers such as Rafael Montero -- who took deGrom's place on the roster and in the rotation and absorbed the loss Tuesday by giving up five runs over five innings as New York fell 7-1 to Washington -- Collins cautioned Tuesday that trading pitching may cause more problems than it solves.

"There's a lot of talk about dumping our young pitching," Collins said. "Well, you better have some pitching down the road. Because when it starts breaking down and it's all gone, we're going to regret it."

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