WASHINGTON — With Cy Young Award winners Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer unavailable for Opening Day, second-year right-hander Tylor Megill was given the Game 1 starting assignment for the New York Mets against the Washington Nationals.
New Mets manager Buck Showalter announced Megill’s role for Thursday during New York’s workout at Nationals Park on Wednesday. The Nationals, who are without Stephen Strasburg as he continues to return from surgery, will send left-hander Patrick Corbin to the mound.
DeGrom, the 2018 and 2019 NL Cy Young Award recipient, is expected to miss several weeks because of a problem with his right shoulder blade. Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young honoree who joined the Mets on a three-year, $130 million deal as a free agent this offseason, has been dealing with a right hamstring issue that arose late in spring training.
Scherzer threw on flat ground in the outfield Wednesday. Showalter said the former Nationals pitcher, will take fielding practice Thursday before a decision is made on whether he can start the second game of the season on Friday.
“Hopefully all goes well tomorrow,” Showalter said.
If Scherzer does not pitch in Game 2, the manager said, he could slide further back in the rotation or be held until after an April 14 day off that precedes the Mets’ home opener the following day.
Showalter told Megill of his selection for Thursday’s game during the workout at the stadium.
Megill is a 26-year-old from California who is listed at 6-feet-7 and 230 pounds. He went 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 starts, accumulating 99 strikeouts in 89 2/3 innings, for the Mets in 2021 after making his major league debut in June.
Notes: OF Brandon Nimmo said his stiff neck felt “a lot better” during Wednesday’s workout but he couldn’t say for sure whether he would play Thursday. Nimmo felt the neck tighten up during an exhibition game Sunday and said Wednesday it is a “range of motion” issue that affects things such as turning to look at the pitcher while batting. … The Mets signed RHP John Curtiss to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2023. The 29-year-old reliever had reconstructive elbow surgery last August and will sit out this season on the 60-day IL. … In other moves, New York selected the contracts of LHP Chasen Shreve and OF Travis Jankowski and designated INF Travis Blankenhorn and RHP Jordan Yamamoto for assignment.