USATSI_18107169

Apr 17, 2022; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets outfielders Jeff McNeil (1) Starling Marte (6) and Nick Plummer (18), celebrate after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

After a long wait during the winter and an abbreviated spring training, regular-season baseball is back. However, the first hurdle for MLB teams has been the rise of injuries, especially the number of pitchers being sidelined.

The volume of pitchers landing on the injured list has been eye-opening, to say the least. You could make an All-Star team with the talented arms that are currently out, namely Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, John Means, Chris Sale and Jack Flaherty.

One starter who has yet to take the mound is Mets ace Jacob deGrom. There may not be another pitcher who is as important to his team’s success as deGrom is to the Mets, who placed the two-time Cy Young winner on the 10-day IL on Opening Day due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade.

The Mets, who spent big for the second straight offseason, have had to cope with the absence of deGrom, who has battled injuries the last few seasons. But you can’t rule out the effect that the shortened offseason and rushed spring training has had on pitchers. And it's hard to imagine this early trend of pitching injuries improving throughout the season.

Last week, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said it's "certainly possible" that the rash of pitching injuries is "a byproduct of an unmonitored offseason (and) shortened ramp-up" due to "guys not being fully built up."

"We for one, and probably every other team, need to be a little bit creative in how we use guys and how we piece together (a plan)," Hahn added. "That's just part of where all 30 (teams) are at right now.”

The market for starting pitching will be worth monitoring as the season rolls along. Quality starters are always in high demand, but with more arms likely to go down between now and the Aug. 2 trade deadline, phones will be ringing more than ever.

Even without deGrom, the Mets debuted in the top three of our first MLB Power Rankings for 2022. Let's take a closer look at the results of the staff vote.

Note: Records and statistics are through April 17.

The Top 10
Team W L PCT DIFF OPS ERA
1. Dodgers 7 2 .778 +27 .757 (7th) 2.28 (2nd)
2. Giants 7 2 .778 +23 .718 (10th) 2.20 (1st)
3. Mets 7 3 .700 +26 .773 (5th) 2.35 (3rd)
4. White Sox 6 3 .667 +6 .660 (22nd) 3.24 (8th)
5. Blue Jays 6 4 .600 -3 .753 (8th) 4.50 (23rd)
6. Cardinals 5 3 .625 +14 .785 (4th) 3.60 (10th)
7. Angels 6 4 .600 +3 .771 (6th) 4.45 (22nd)
8. Red Sox 5 4 .556 +7 .674 (17th) 3.71 (13th)
9. Yankees 5 5 .500 +1 .677 (16th) 2.53 (4th)
10. Rockies 6 3 .667 +8 .797 (2nd) 3.62 (11th)
The Middle 10
Team W L PCT DIFF OPS ERA
11. Astros 5 4 .556 -1 .661 (21st) 3.22 (7th)
12. Mariners 5 5 .500 +4 .668 (19th) 3.14 (6th)
13. Braves 5 6 .455 -9 .714 (12th) 4.64 (24th)
14. Athletics 5 5 .500 +10 .667 (20th) 4.05 (19th)
15. Padres 6 5 .545 +5 .672 (18th) 3.75 (15th)
16. Rays 5 5 .500 0 .698 (14th) 3.64 (12th)
17. Cubs 5 4 .556 +7 .811 (1st) 4.27 (21st)
18. Guardians 4 5 .444 +11 .793 (3rd) 3.49 (9th)
19. Brewers 5 5 .500 -13 .626 (24th) 4.03 (18th)
20. Marlins 4 5 .444 +2 .718 (10th) 3.76 (16th)
The Bottom 10
Team W L PCT DIFF OPS ERA
21. Phillies 4 6 .400 -9 .746 (9th) 5.07 (26th)
22. Tigers 4 5 .444 -12 .608 (26th) 3.71 (13th)
23. Pirates 5 4 .556 -1 .711 (13th) 4.67 (25th)
24. Twins 3 6 .333 -11 .616 (25th) 4.22 (20th)
25. Royals 3 5 .375 -16 .566 (28th) 5.13 (27th)
26. Nationals 4 7 .364 -16 .631 (23rd) 5.49 (28th)
27. Rangers 2 7 .222 -10 .687 (15th) 6.19 (30th)
28. Diamondbacks 3 6 .333 -20 .548 (29th) 3.83 (16th)
29. Reds 2 8 .200 -24 .539 (30th) 5.57 (29th)
30. Orioles 3 6 .333 -9 .597 (27th) 3.04 (5th)

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