Mets get rare good news as Jason Vargas will miss only five days with hand injury

Over the last few seasons, the New York Mets have been so dogged with injuries that they seem cursed. Every little thing seems to turn into a prolonged absence.

On Sunday, the Mets got some rare good news on the injury front. Left-hander Jason Vargas, who had his right hand broken by a comebacker in a minor league game earlier this week, will miss only five with the injury. He does need surgery, however.

All things considered, five days is not a big deal. Of course, these are the Mets, so it's possible Vargas' rehab and throwing program will take longer than expected. For now, it seems he will not miss much time. He avoided a more serious injury.

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at New York Mets
Hand surgery will sideline Jason Vargas only a few days. USATSI

Here is how New York's rotation depth chart looks at the moment:

  1. Noah Syndergaard
  2. Jacob deGrom
  3. Matt Harvey
  4. Jason Vargas (out with hand surgery)
  5. Steven Matz
  6. Zack Wheeler

Matz and Wheeler were competing for the final rotation spot prior to Vargas' injury -- Matz was believed to have a leg up on that fifth starter's race -- and now the club will going into the regular season with both in the rotation. Wheeler will begin preparing to assume the vacant rotation spot this week.

The schedule does the Mets no favors. They can't use off-days to skip their fifth starter's spot at all in April. That said, they can push Vargas' first start back to April 4, the sixth game of the season, and that may be enough time to get him back up to speed. Missing five days shouldn't slow down Vargas' spring progress much, if at all. It's not like he'll have to get stretched back out from scratch. He should be able to pick up right where he left off.

For now, the Mets will prepare Wheeler to take Vargas' rotation spot, and hey, you could have worse sixth starters. Wheeler's had lots of injury problems but he still has a great arm. It seems as though the Mets did get a bit lucky here. Vargas suffered a minor injury and their rotation depth won't be compromised very long, if at all.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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