PHOENIX – Michael Conforto’s free agency will infect the next low season.
The former Mets outfielder underwent surgery on his right shoulder last week, which will keep him on the sidelines throughout 2022, according to agent Scott Boras. The Post recently reported that Conforto had been given the opportunity to undergo surgery. The Posts Jon Heyman reported only on Saturday that Conforto underwent surgery by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Conforto sustained the injury in January during training, according to Boras. After the lockout ended, Conforto remained unsigned as he tried to retrain his shoulder.
Last low season, the Conforto Mets’ qualifying bid for this year turned down $ 18.4 million as he pursued a major deal. If Conforto signed under another spot, the Mets would have won a draft pick at number 75-80 overall.
But Conforto’s continued unemployment into next winter means the Mets will not receive the compensatory draft.
“You do not want any of your friends or teammates to undergo surgery, especially as serious as a shoulder surgery,” Pete Alonso said after the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Diamondbacks. “I wish Mike all the best and a speedy and healthy full recovery.”
Taijuan Walker’s return to the Mets’ rotation is likely to happen against the same opponent he last met.
The right-handed player is expected to come off the injury list and start Friday or Saturday against the Phillies at the next home court, according to manager Buck Showalter. Walker traveled after just two laps on April 11 in Philadelphia with shoulder pain, which was diagnosed as bursitis.
Team officials are still deciding whether Walker will play a simulated game Monday in St. Louis. Louis, or whether he will need another minor league rehabilitation start before returning to the rotation. Walker started in a minor league rehab match on Wednesday.
By holding Walker back until Friday or Saturday, the Mets can keep their rotation in order without interruptions in the form of several days between starts. Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco start the three matches in St. Louis. The Mets have a free Thursday.
Walker underwent surgery in January to remove damaged cartilage from his right knee. He was lifted early from his last spring training start due to knee discomfort and then left his start against the Phillies with sore shoulder.
Edwin Diaz initially thought the placement was good on his shooter, which Daulton Varsho hit for a matching homer in the ninth inning on Friday, but after further review, that was not the case.
“I thought I was making a good pitch, but when I saw the video, I left it right in the middle,” Diaz said. “I threw 14 lanes, and on the bad one they got a homer.”
The blown save was Diaz’s first in just two chances this season. The right-hander’s other five appearances that came in on Saturday had happened in situations without saving.
Drew Smith’s stock continues to rise. The right-handed player has a perfect ERA over seven appearances. He has allowed three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in seven innings.