During spring training in February, the question constantly asked New York Mets manager Buck Showalter was, “Have you decided to start the opening game?” Coach Showalter often avoided an immediate answer. Because it was a sensitive issue.

The New York Mets have two Hall of Fame prospective pitchers. 안전놀이터Justin Verlander (40) and Max Scherzer (39). The two players, who had split up after sharing a meal together during their time in Detroit, reunited as one team ahead of this season. The historic duo reunited as Scherzer signed with the Mets ahead of the 2022 season and Verlander joined the team ahead of this season.

Only one player per team is honored for the Opening Day selection each year. Both Scherzer and Verlander had the skills and position to start the Opening Day if they were on other teams. In fact, the Mets signed both players by offering an annual salary of about $43.33 million. There were many views that saw it as a ‘miraculous trick’ to build each other’s self-esteem in their own way. So, Manager Showalter’s decision had to be delayed.

However, those two players are struggling early in the season. One has a noticeable decline in pitch regardless of the result, and one could not even start the season due to an injury. Considering that the total annual salary is about 86.67 million dollars (about 114.6 billion won), it is possible to feel a sense of crisis.

Verlander started the season on the injured list after suffering shoulder pain at the end of an exhibition game. It is not a serious injury that requires surgery. Verlander also recently expressed confidence in his condition, saying, “I think I will be able to throw it within April.” Local media are predicting his return at the end of April.

Verlander, who boasted tremendous durability to the extent that he was nicknamed ‘Geumgang Buddha’ throughout his active career, has memories of missing the entire 2021 season after undergoing elbow surgery in 2020. He succeeded in resurrecting last year, but it is natural that everyone is nervous about the shoulder pain of an old man in his 40s.

Scherzer, the Opening Day starter, is 2-1 with a 4.41 earned run average in his first 3 games. He’s got a bit of a runaway feel, but his record isn’t anything to worry about yet. However, it is worrisome that his restraint continues to decline.

Scherzer’s average speed of his four-seam fastball, which averaged 94 miles (151 km) last year, fell below 93 miles (150 km) this year. His out-of-velocity four-seam fastball soared to 0.500 in his first two games, and his swing-and-miss ratio declined. Even against San Diego on the 11th, there were more fastballs in the low 90s than mid-90s. Major League hitters could be in even more trouble if they no longer fear Scherzer’s fastball prowess.

The Mets, whose immediate task is to win the World Series, signed contracts with Scherzer for a total of $130 million over three years and Verlander for a total of $86.67 million over two years ($35 million with a 2025 option), respectively. If the downhill of the two players in their late 30s and 40s begins, there is no guarantee that they will be able to recover this principal. The Mets’ dream is to lead the team to victory in the World Series with strong pitching. It remains to be seen whether this dream can be realized within two years.

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