The New York Mets will be without their best pitcher for a big portion of the first half, at the very least. It was revealed, after an MRI on Friday, that the star right-hander is dealing with a stress reaction in his scapula, which caused inflammation in the area and resulted in shoulder tightness after a session of catch.
As a result of the diagnosis, the Mets decided to shut down their ace for at least four weeks. After that timeline, he will be reevaluated and another MRI will be performed in the affected area. If there is significant improvement, he will be allowed to restart a throwing program.
The Mets, therefore, suffer their first tough blow of the year and the season hasn’t even started yet. Newcomer Max Scherzer will now be tasked with leading the rotation until deGrom is ready to come back.
“Everybody has adversity,” general manager Billy Eppler said, per the Mets official site. “Everybody does. Every team, all the time. So you deal with these things. Would we have loved to have had Jake out there on Opening Day? Yeah, absolutely. But we understand that this is what teams go through. So that’s what we’ll do. We’ll manage it and move forward.”
deGrom could realistically return to the Mets in two months
If the follow-up MRI taken a month from now comes back clean, deGrom will likely need another month to ramp up and stretch out enough to start an MLB game. So, in reality, we won’t see deGrom on an MLB mound before June.
“He’s disappointed,” Eppler said. “We’re disappointed. Everybody’s sharing the disappointment right now. Nobody’s immune to that.”
The Mets rotation will now have Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and the winner of a battle that includes Tylor Megill, David Peterson, and Trevor Williams.
“[deGrom] is really good at what he does, and we won’t have that for a period of time, but now an opportunity presents itself for somebody to step forward,” manager Buck Showalter said.