Mets: MRI reveals improvement in deGrom’s shoulder, but he hasn’t been cleared to throw

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom
Mar 11, 2020; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch during a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets sent a bizarre update on the health status of their injured ace, Jacob deGrom, late on Monday. The right-hander has been out all season with a stress reaction on his right scapula, and was scheduled for imaging last week.

An MRI and CT scan taken Monday on deGrom’s right shoulder showed “considerable healing of the stress reaction on his scapula.” However, the Mets didn’t say he was allowed to throw just yet.

Instead, the star pitcher has been cleared to begin “loading and strengthening of the shoulder” and will undergo another MRI in three weeks to check his progress, per the Mets’ official site. That means his return isn’t imminent, and it could take most of the first half from the former Cy Young award winner.

As Anthony DiComo notes, the Mets’ release “didn’t say anything about a throwing program, so it would appear he won’t be cleared for that at least until the next exam.” While he is showing healing, the team is obviously not confident enough in his progress to let him start a throwing program just yet.

The Mets need deGrom

When healthy, there is no question that deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball. Last year, he covered 92 innings and had a minuscule 1.08 ERA, with a 45.1 percent strikeout rate, but he suffered elbow issues that robbed him most of the second half.

In the meantime, the Mets have the best record in baseball, at 13-5, and haven’t missed deGrom much. Most, if not all, of his rotation mates have done a fantastic job holding down the fort: Tylor Megill, Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, Chris Bassitt, and even David Peterson have all been stellar, and these are good times in Queens.

To make a deep postseason run, though, the Mets will need deGrom healthy and in-form, and that’s apparently what they are shooting for with so much caution.

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