Szapucki's (arm) contract was purchased from Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.
This move protects the southpaw from the Rule 5 draft. He was scratched from the Arizona Fall League roster after ending the year on the 7-day injured list. The team has not provided an official injury, just saying that Szapucki was going to rest his arm for a while. While his season ended on a slightly ominous note, it had been a successful first year back from Tommy John surgery from a performance standpoint. He will likely open back at Double-A and should spend most of the year at Triple-A.
Szapucki (arm) was scratched from the Arizona Fall League roster after ending the season on the 7-day injured list with Double-A Binghamton, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
It was a very successful first full season back from Tommy John surgery for the 23-year-old southpaw, but it ends on an ominous note. He logged a 2.63 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 72:26 K:BB in 61.2 innings across stops at Low-A, High-A and Double-A. Szapucki will need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason, which is why the Mets pushed him aggressively to the upper levels of the minors. A Mets official told Healey that they are "going to give his arm a rest for a little while", so there is not necessarily an actual injury, it may just be general soreness for a pitcher who just set a career high in innings pitched. If he comes to camp healthy, Szapucki will likely open the year back at Double-A and could be an option to join the big-league rotation later in the summer.
Szapucki gave up four hits and two walks over five scoreless innings while striking out nine for High-A St. Lucie on Monday.
The nine strikeouts were a season high for the southpaw. Szapucki has looked sharp since a promotion to the Florida State League, posting a 2.03 ERA and 19:5 K:BB through 13.1 innings over four outings, but the Mets continue to keep a tight rein on his workload in his first season back from Tommy John surgery.
Szapucki tossed four scoreless, no-hit innings for Low-A Columbia on Friday, walking one and striking out four.
While the performance itself was noteworthy, Szapucki also set new season highs by lasting four innings and 50 pitches. The Mets have been taking it very easy on the 23-year-old southpaw after he missed all of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery, but given his age plus a 2.08 ERA and 26:10 K:BB through 21.2 innings for Columbia, he seems ready to face stiffer competition.
Szapucki is listed as healthy for Low-A Columbia, Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com reports.
He underwent Tommy John surgery in July of 2017 and missed all of 2018, but it sounds like he's ready to make up for lost time. Szapucki made six strong starts at Low-A in 2017 before suffering a torn UCL, so if he looks like his old self, he could quickly receive a promotion to High-A.
Szapucki will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in New York on Thursday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.
This is a big blow for the pitching prospect, although not an unexpected one given his history of arm troubles, as he had been dominating at Low-A Columbia (2.79 ERA, 27:10 K:BB in 29 innings pitched) prior to being shut down at the beginning of the month. Szapucki will start on the long road back from the operation, likely rendering him unavailable until the latter half of the 2018 season or perhaps even the start of the 2019 campaign.
Szapucki tossed six scoreless innings for Low-A Columbia on Sunday, scattering two hits and two walks while striking out 10.
He ended up with a no-decision in a 2-1 loss to Kannapolis, but Szapucki still put together his best start of the season so far. The 21-year-old lefty got a late start to his campaign due to a shoulder impingement and will need to avoid further arm issues if he's going to realize his massive upside, but he already has three solid to plus pitches with a mid-90s fastball, sharp curve and nasty slider, so Szapucki could move quickly through the Mets' system now that he's healthy.
Szapucki (shoulder) covered 4.1 innings in a start Sunday for Low-A Columbia, surrendering three runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three.
Making his season debut after he was sidelined in spring training due to a shoulder impingement, Szapucki was understandably rusty in his return to the mound. The lefty is regarded as the top pitching prospect in the organization, but injury concerns have probably downgraded his stock in dynasty formats relative to where it was at heading into the season. If he's able to steer clear of further injuries for the rest of 2017 and routinely flash his plus fastball and curveball during his subsequent starts, Szapucki could regain some appeal from prospect hounds.
Szapucki was held back in extended spring training as he works his way back from a shoulder impingement, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo reports.
With the graduation of Robert Gsellman, Szapucki is the Mets' top pitching prospect, and while injuries have been his primary wart to this point, it had been back and neck injuries that plagued him in the past, so this is the first arm-related concern. Szapucki has the potential for a plus fastball and plus curveball from the left side, but the risk is also through the roof. He is expected to report to Low-A Columbia when healthy.
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