D’Arnaud, 29, flew to New York for the examination, and in the next few days he will decided on a treatment plan, which could be rest and rehabilitation or Tommy John surgery, which would end his season.
“That’s tough,” Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said. “That’s a long road if he goes the surgery route.”
D’Arnaud was part of the Mets’ catching platoon with Kevin Plawecki, who will now assume the primary duties. Tomas Nido, who was called up from Class AA Binghamton, will back up Plawecki for now, with Jose Lobaton, a veteran catcher at Class AAA Las Vegas, as a future possibility.
“Kevin is more than ready for this challenge, and unfortunate the way it happened but certainly an opportunity for him,” said John Ricco, the Mets’ assistant general manager.
There was nearly more bad news for the catching platoon, as Plawecki suffered a scare himself. A 98-mile per hour fastball from the Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero hit Plawecki on the left hand in the eighth inning. He exited the game later in the frame, but X-rays came up negative.
It is unclear how long d’Arnaud, whose body has suffered many injuries over the years, was nursing his injury. Ricco and Callaway said they first learned of d’Arnaud’s elbow soreness on Tuesday.
D’Arnaud has been hampered since a right shoulder injury in 2016, which hurt his ability to throw out base-stealers. He worked to improve it, but his throwing has regressed over the first two weeks of the season.
Wheeler has an injury history of his own. He showed flashes of a powerful arm in 2013 and 2014, but a protracted recovery from Tommy John surgery forced him to miss the 2015 and 2016 seasons. His 2017 season was slowed by an upper arm injury.
Wheeler did not make the major-league roster out of spring training, and headed to Las Vegas to work on shortening the path of his throwing arm on the mound. Mets officials were pleased with his first outing with Las Vegas and called him up on Wednesday to start, at least once, as Jason Vargas recovers from a hand injury.
Wheeler allowed just one run, a solo home run by Miguel Rojas in the first inning, and struck out seven batters. After Mattingly removed Garcia, the Mets took advantage of the Marlins’ sputtering bullpen.
In the eighth inning, after Plawecki was hit on the hand, pinch-hitter Michael Conforto doubled. Adrian Gonzalez, also a pinch-hitter, gave the Mets a 2-1 lead with a two-run single. Wilmer Flores and Frazier later added two more runs, a coda on an eventful day.
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