Update: Walker diagnosed with partially torn hamstring. Typically about a 4 week RTP.
New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker exited the New York Mets’ contest against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday with a possible hamstring issue in the third inning. With a runner on first and no outs, Walker tried to beat out a bunt, stumbled halfway down the first baseline, and came up hobbling.
“Walker will likely get an MRI Thursday,” Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon at Duke Unversity, said. “Depending on the grade of the hamstring strain, Walker may be out anywhere from two to six weeks.”
The news comes on the heels of starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s thumb sprain that landed him on the 10-day disabled list, meaning that the Mets now do not have either middle infielder available for the near future. New York may opt to call up prized prospect Ahmed Rosario from Triple-A Las Vegas 51s to fill Walker’s roster spot.
Depending on the severity of the injury, Walker may be someone fantasy players might want to think about dropping for the time being. Although he has had a solid start to 2017, hitting .271 with nine homeruns and 33 runs batted in as the Mets’ primary second baseman, Walker may be out for a decent-sized chunk of the season.
A player to keep an eye on—espeically if New York opts to not call up Rosario—is infielder Wilmer Flores. Flores is currently listed as a third baseman but has experience all over the diamond for the Mets and should see some more playing time with limited depth up the middle. Flores has been featured in the lineup more often recently due to Jose Reyes’ struggles, and with Reyes sliding back to shortstop due to Cabrera’s injury and Walker’s injury, Flores should become the Mets’ everyday third baseman, with starts as well at shortstop and second base.
Flores has had a fantastic start to 2017 in limited plate appearances, sporting a .317 batting average with five dingers and 18 runs batted in, and should definitely be in some starting fantasy lineups when New York is slated to face a slew of left-handers. To top it off, Flores is currently owned in just 5.9 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues and should still be available despite Walker’s injury, making him an intriguing waiver wire option.