Mets' Jeff McNeil has partially torn elbow ligament

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

NEW YORK -- Jeff McNeil has a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, but the 2022 NL batting champion is not expected to need surgery.

McNeil was placed on the 10-day injured list by the New York Mets on Thursday, ending his season. The injury was diagnosed Wednesday, after McNeil went 1-for-4 in a doubleheader opener against Miami. He is to receive a PRP injection Friday.

McNeil said he was injured Sept. 11 when he slid awkwardly while being tagged out at second base by Arizona's Jordan Lawlar while trying to stretch a fifth-inning single.

"When I went back and watched the replay, it looks like my hand is up when I'm sliding," McNeil said. "And when he goes to tag me, I think my hand hits his head and kind of jolts it back a little bit. The trainers were saying that's all it takes sometimes for something like that to happen."

McNeil played in each of the Mets' next 16 games and said the discomfort in the elbow generally subsided after he took a handful of swings in the batting cage. Pain increased Wednesday, when McNeil made a series of impressive catches in right field, among six positions he played this season.

"I looked down in the second inning -- I could just tell by his facial expressions, I didn't know if it was from all the diving and the plays he had made in right field," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "He said 'My elbow's barking a little bit.'"

McNeil finished with a .270 average, down from a major league-best .326 last season. But after dealing with a series of chronic injuries in the first half, he hit .300 with seven homers over his final 56 games.

"I think I got down to like .245 or something," said McNeil, who was hitting .246 on July 20. "I kind of wanted to save my season and get back to .270."

New York recalled infielder Danny Mendick and right-hander Denyi Ryes from Syracuse and optioned left-hander Joey Lucchesi to the Triple-A team. Lucchesi made his final start of the season Wednesday.