Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Mets INF T.J. Rivera, who had Tommy John surgery on his injured right elbow on Sept. 14, is hoping to return around the beginning of next season.
While pitchers usually miss between 12 and 18 months recovering from Tommy John surgery, position players can return in as little as six months.
Mets officials foresee Rivera returning this coming summer, but his goal is to get back sooner...
"Me personally, I'm looking to be ready right around the beginning of the season," Rivera recently told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. "If there's no setbacks, I'm hoping that's the outcome. But I think it just takes time to see how it feels when I start throwing. I've never had really any surgery, so it's kind of a weird position for me. But my expectations are to be ready to go around the beginning of the season."
The 29-year-old Rivera, who landed on the disabled list on June 28 with a partial tear of his UCL, attempted to rehab the injury before deciding on surgery.
He hit .290/.330/.430 with five HR, 13 doubles, and 27 RBI in 73 games for the Mets in 2017 while playing second base, third base, first base, and left field, putting his name in the discussion for a more regular role going forward. During his rookie season in 2016, Rivera hit .333/.345/.476 in 33 games.
The Mets have prioritized finding a second baseman this offseason -- a fact that's not lost on Rivera.
"It's tough, because I know the team has to have someone ready to play," Rivera said. "I get that they don't know where I'm going to be at, and how my arm's going to react to the surgery. I understand that. And it's frustrating because I know the position I play is one of the positions that they're looking to fill. I hope they do still see me as a possibility."
The Mets' left side of the infield in 2018 is expected to be Asdrubal Cabrera and Amed Rosario, with first base filled by either Dominic Smith or a new acquisition. The second baseman is expected to come from outside the organization, though Wilmer Flores could be an option there -- as could Cabrera if the team acquires a third baseman.
When Rivera returns, he would fit in a reserve role, assuming the Mets don't bring back free agent Jose Reyes, who wants to return.