The New York Mets received some bad news on Thursday night, when ace Jacob deGrom reported some tightness in his right (pitching) shoulder after playing catch. The pitcher, expected to carry the team alongside new addition Max Scherzer, underwent an MRI on Friday morning, and the organization is patiently awaiting the results to determine the next steps.
The Mets scratched deGrom from his originally scheduled Grapefruit League start against the Cardinals, and replaced him with right-hander Félix Peña. His status for Opening Day is now in doubt and will largely depend on what the MRI says.
deGrom already had to deal with an injury-filled 2021, in which he suffered oblique, shoulder, and elbow issues. The latter proved too much to overcome in July and knocked him out for the rest of the year.
Losing deGrom would be a huge blow for the Mets
The Mets’ ace was brilliant when healthy: in 92 innings, he had a 1.08 ERA and struck out over 45 percent of the hitters he faced last year. He was on his way to a historic year if it wasn’t for the injuries.
According to Mets’ president Sandy Alderson, the elbow injury that robbed him of his second half was a partial UCL tear that “resolved itself”.
Anthony diComo of the Mets’ official site explains that, according to manager Buck Showalter, “deGrom felt fine during his routine game of catch on Thursday until his last couple of throws. He looked strong over his first two Grapefruit League starts, allowing one run in five innings with 10 strikeouts. deGrom had also made some concessions in the name of staying healthy, lifting slightly heavier weights this winter and dialing back his velocity a few ticks in spring.”
If deGrom is not available to make his Opening Day start for the Mets, the team could opt with Scherzer, who had a 2.46 ERA in 179.1 frames last year and signed a three-year, $130 million to pitch in Queens.