The New York Mets have been without Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, their two best pitchers, for most of the season. ‘Mad Max’ pitched eight games so far, before going down with an oblique strain on May 18; while deGrom hasn’t pitched at all this season while nursing a stress reaction on his right scapula.
Their lead in the National League East division, which was once over 10 games, is now just 3.5 games. That’s why the Mets badly need their aces back. When will they return? Let’s examine each case.
Scherzer just completed his final rehab start at Double-A Binghampton, stretching out to 80 pitches. He declared himself ready to return to the Mets, and that should come early next week.
The team could really use someone like Scherzer at the top of the rotation. In those eight starts, he left a 5-1 record and a 2.54 ERA in 49.2 innings, with 59 strikeouts to his name.
The Mets could have deGrom before the end of the month
The other key name for the Mets, deGrom, is behind Scherzer, but it’s not really that far off. If he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, late July is a real possibility. He was once in play to return before the All-Star break, but it would make more sense to wait until after the game to bring him back.
deGrom had been throwing bullpens and facing hitters in live batting practice for a while, but is now ready to start a rehab assignment. According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets are “discussing the possibility” that deGrom could make a rehab start on Sunday with Single-A St. Lucie.
The idea is for deGrom to make three or four rehab starts before rejoining the Mets, which would cover between two and three weeks. It’s really important that he doesn’t have setbacks, because that could put his season in jeopardy.
All things considered, the Mets will get one ace back early next week and the other one in less than a month if all goes well.