Mets and Dodgers Dealing with Injuries, as Justin Verlander and Ryan Pepiot Will Miss Start of 2023

On Opening Day, both Justin Verlander of the Mets and Dodgers RHP Ryan Pepiot will miss the start of the 2023 campaign. Both teams’ rotations were already short-handed heading into the season, and now the Dodgers and Mets will have their depth tested.

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A Look at Pepiot and Verlander

We’ll start off with Dodgers right-hander Ryan Pepiot, who impressed early on this spring and earned spot on the Los Angeles Opening Day roster before an left oblique strain sidelined him. Pepiot pitched well for the Dodgers over the first few weeks of Cactus League action, as he surrendered just two runs in his first nine innings. However, he did struggle in his final two starts. HIs last appearance came on March 28th against the Angels, in which he gave up five runs over 3.2 IP.

A hard-throwing right-hander with a very good changeup and a solid slider, Pepiot has the stuff to be a #2 or a #3 starter in the Majors. But, he’ll need to wait before he can slot back in to the Dodgers rotation.

The rookie is not the only one to have gone on the IL on Opening Day, as future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander also fell victim to an injury. Verlander, who was slated to start this weekend in Miami and in the Mets’ home opener next Thursday, is dealing with a low-grade teres major strain. Verlander is set miss at least those two starts, but will continue to throw at moderate intensity before being reevaluated.

A Look at the Dodgers and Mets

Both the Dodgers and Mets have not had it easy this spring. Los Angeles lost Gavin Lux for all of 2023 early on in the spring, and will be without both starting pitchers Pepiot and Tony Gonsolin to start the season. The Dodgers do have Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, and Noah Syndergaard healthy, and Dustin May and Michael Grove will both slot in at the back end of the rotation. While the losses do hurt, the Dodgers have the depth to deal with the injuries.

The Mets, meanwhile, will depend on Tylor Megill to temporarily replace Verlander. Megill did not have a good spring, and has not been all that effective since early on in the 2022 campaign. Megill went 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in April 2022, but finished the season with a 5.13 ERA after injuries and inconsistencies.

With Jose Quintana out for likely the first half of the season and the Verlander injury, the Mets’ pitching depth will need to produce early on.

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