The diagnosis, which was confirmed by Los Angeles-based specialist Robert Watkins, is a crushing blow to a Mets rotation that was being vaunted as one of the most solid staffs in the Majors.
Trachsel, a workhorse who has never made fewer than 28 starts in his four years as a Met, would have been slotted in as either the No. 4 or No. 5 starter in the rotation.
Ginter stepped in and did a decent job for the Mets last season as a part-time starter, making 14 starts and going 1-2 with a 4.54 ERA. His season ended three weeks early due to bone chips in his right ankle, but he has recovered and probably would have fought it out for one of the Mets' bullpen positions if not for Trachsel's injury.
In fact, the No. 5 rotation spot is probably Ginter's to lose at this point. Pitching coach Rick Peterson is not enamored of Jae Seo, a sub-.500 pitcher in 52 career starts who rebuffed Peterson's overtures to teach him a third pitch last season, and Heilman is not being given serious consideration to start the year anywhere but Triple-A.
The intriguing option might have been Campos, the new man on the scene, but any luster he brought was diminished when he served up three long home runs to Cleveland Indians batters on Tuesday.