Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who is yet to play this season and is recovering from a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, underwent the latest MRI examination on Monday, the team announced. The Mets make the following statement after this latest test:
“He underwent follow-up imaging yesterday which showed the wound was still healing. He will continue to build distance and velocity into his throwing program, and we will provide updates on his progress as appropriate. ”
On the other hand, it’s encouraging that there’s been no setback and deGrom seems to be on the verge of a comeback. On the other hand, it’s certainly frustrating for all parties that there’s no clear indication of when deGrom might return to moratorium at Citi Field. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com wrote on Monday nightafter talking to the pitching coach Jeremy HefnerdeGrom will require three to five minor league rehabilitation starts.
Of course, given the ambiguous nature of the Mets’ statement, it’s unclear when that minor league rehabilitation work might begin. The Mets point out that deGrom is still throwing, but the standard progression would be to go from flat ground, to hard work, facing live monsters before jumping into a recovery game – with days scattered breaks throughout the process. If deGrom is indeed slated for five recoveries, that could take up to four weeks for the process. Inferring a bit, it’s hard to see him back before mid-June at this point, but the Mets have purposefully avoided making any definitive statements.
“We don’t want to repeat that situation, because he’s done the job this year,” Hefner told DiComo on Monday. “So we’re definitely going to play a long game against him to make sure we have him for the rest of the season.”
Just looking at the standings, no one would say the Mets have been short of the game’s best pitcher this season. A 23-13 record gave them a 5.5-game lead over second-placed the Phillies in the National League East, not to mention the game’s third-best win percentage (0.639, just behind the Dodgers and Yankees). The Mets received seven starts each from Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco and Tylor Megilland that quartet combined for an excellent 3.22 ERA in 162 plays. Taijuan Walker (four starts) and David Peterson (three) have also excelled in their opportunities so far.
Overall, the Mets beginners ranked sixth in majors in the ERA – even without deGrom. They are also third in FIP and fifth in SIERA, in addition to possessing the seventh-best hit rate and second-lowest walk rate of any baseball team. Given the group’s collective dominance, the Mets can afford to take a more conservative approach to deGrom. That may be the team’s approach regardless, but a stellar spin and comfortable lead certainly quell any deGrom-boosting temptations that might emerge in a more closely contested division. and/or with widespread struggles from rotation alternatives.