Kodai Senga plans fix mechanical issue stalling Mets rehab

Kodai Senga believes a mechanical issue at least “partially” contributed to his injury this spring, he said, which is why his progress has been paused until he can feel completely comfortable with his delivery.

The Mets ace progressed from no-throw to throwing off flat ground to throwing off mounds to facing hitters, which he did twice last week.

After his pair of live batting practices, though, he told the club that he did not want to continue facing hitters — either in live BPs or with a rehab assignment — until he irons out mechanical problems.

Kodai Senga is working out the mechanical issues he believes contributed to his injury. JASON SZENES FOR THE NEW YORK POST

Those mechanical issues are “very technical but to simplify: All my power output was not going towards the catcher,” Senga said Monday through interpreter Hiro Fujiwara. “I wasn’t able to deliver 100 percent of it towards the catcher, which is very important. And when that is happening, I’m more … susceptible to injuries.”

Such as the right shoulder capsule strain that has sidelined him since late February.

Senga said he was playing with a few delivery tweaks this offseason and this spring, “which could have been a factor” in his shoulder problem.

He then felt “some differences” in his delivery during the two live-BP sessions.

“That’s when I thought I should take a little bit of time to re-look at this,” Senga said before the Mets opened a series with the Phillies at Citi Field. “I don’t want to come back into this season and say, ‘Oh, I need a couple more days in-season when I’m not on the IL.’

Senga doesn’t want to resume his rehab until he’s figured out how to fix his throwing. AP

“I just wanted to really figure it out beforehand.”

The Mets are listening to their best starter, who came over from Japan last year and pitched to a 2.98 ERA while receiving votes for both NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.

There is largely a different regime in charge of the team this year, and they still are trying to learn about a pitcher who did not have any injury setbacks last season.

Carlos Mendoza acknowledged that he “100 percent” has to defer to Senga’s own feelings and thoughts, more so than his average player.

Mendoza called Senga “unique” and a “different person.” With others, Mendoza might be more aggressive in trying to push progress forward.

With Senga, Mendoza is trying to listen more than anything else.

Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga throws at practice, Wednesday, March 27, 2024. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“At the end of the day, you don’t want to put your player at risk, especially if he’s not feeling the way he thinks he should be feeling,” the Mets manager said. “We have conversations with some of the other guys that are going through the rehab process, and everybody’s different.

“This is a unique case, situation. And a special player, special talent that’s very meticulous. Every situation is different, and we’ll have to adjust.”

Cultural differences come into play for a player who pitched professionally in Nippon Professional Baseball from 2012-2022.

Senga said that in Japan, rehab steps are “more up to the players,” who are given more autonomy to decide what is best.

“If they feel good, they can keep pushing forward,” Senga said. “Here, the trainers have a very well-structured program.”

Both the Mets and Senga want him back on the mound and healthy.

He last threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Sunday, Mendoza said, and Senga hopes to throw another bullpen session Wednesday.

Senga is not eligible to be activated until May 27, but a return this month is no longer possible. Asked about a timetable, Senga said it was “hard to give you a straight answer.”

“It really depends,” Senga said. “We’ll see how I feel in my next bullpen. If all goes well, it could come sooner than later, but it’s really all up in the air.”

The Mets’ rotation has been solid without Senga, and the rehabbing Tylor Megill and David Peterson offer two more intriguing options, but it lacks a true ace.

Senga was that ace last season and is trying to ensure he can be that ace whenever he returns this season.

Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga throws in the bullpen at Spring Training. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

“With my current mechanics, I didn’t think I’d be able to come back at 100 percent,” Senga said. “So taking a little bit of time to look over everything, making sure everything is perfect.”

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