LOS ANGELES — The first tangible sign of a Mets rotation on the mend will be Tylor Megill’s appearance on Sunday during a departure to rehab for Double-A Binghamton.
If Megill survives his scheduled four-inning appearance uncomplicated, it’s possible team officials will put him back into the rotation as early as next weekend in Anaheim. Otherwise, the right-hander would receive another minor start and likely join the Mets on their next homestand.
“He’s a guy who could come in and whoever it is, he can come in and close a formation,” pitching coach Jeremy Hefner said Saturday before the Mets’ 9-4 win over the Dodgers. “Having a guy like that in the rotation and on the verge of returning is always exciting and a boost for our club.”
Megill was the Mets’ opening day starter after Jacob deGrom was scratched from the rotation with a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade. DeGrom threw a 19-pitch bullpen session in New York on Saturday, in his first action on a mound since spring training. Another key starter, Max Scherzer, has been on the disabled list with an oblique stump that could sideline him during the All-Star break. The Post reported on Saturday that Scherzer was recently bitten on his right (thrower) hand by one of his dogs at his Florida home.
Megill has been sidelined for the past three weeks after being diagnosed with inflammation of his right biceps. Injuries to Megill and Scherzer propelled David Peterson and Trevor Williams into the rotation and both performed respectably. Megill threw a 4.41 ERA in seven starts for the Mets. That includes allowing eight earned runs in 1 ¹/₃ inning against the Nationals early before he was placed on the IL. Megill has allowed three or fewer earned runs in five of his starts.
The Mets’ top three healthy starters — Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker and Carlos Carrasco — all delivered. The best of the bunch was Walker, who has a 2.88 ERA in eight starts and displays the same qualities that propelled him to an All-Star Game selection last season. A second-half dive raised concerns about Walker.
Williams will be the scheduled starter Sunday at Dodger Stadium. In his last two starts, he’s combined to pitch 8 ²/₃ shutout innings, against the Giants and Nationals, helping ease concerns about that rotational spot. Overall, the right-hander has thrown a 3.58 ERA in nine appearances with the Mets this season, including four as a starter.
“He stepped up,” Hefner said. “At the start of the season he was more of a long guy in the bullpen, so he did an outstanding job of staying sharp while having to bounce between different roles.”
Once Megill returns, the Mets can slide Williams into the bullpen, adding more depth to this unit. Hefner said it was just a coincidence that Megill and Williams left on the same day. But it’s likely the Mets would just move Megill there if he’s deemed ready after pitching for Binghamton.
Hefner has come to appreciate what Williams brings to the equation.
“Trevor also has some unique qualities, where he looks a little bit different,” Hefner said. “It’s not a handgun, but it’s a lower slot and a little bit lower velocity and it’s one of those things where it’s also unique, so you can kind of throw it in there- in with everyone and you can be successful.”
New York Post