In the New York Metsâ€™ history, few pitchers have been as dominant as peak Jacob deGrom. The right-hander has managed to join a select group of hurlers that have achieved excellence from the mound while wearing the blue and orange.
Thatâ€™s why, unsurprisingly, deGrom was confirmed by Metsâ€™ manager Luis Rojas as the teamâ€™s Opening Day starter when the 2021 MLB season kicks off in April against the division rivals Washington Nationals.
â€œThat’s where it’s lined up,â€ Rojas said. â€œHe’s our No. 1 guy, if you want to call him that, so we’re setting him up to be the Opening Day starter.â€
â€œThe Mets are lining up Jacob deGrom to be the Opening Day starter, the third time in his career and the third year in a row he will draw that honor,â€ Newsdayâ€™s Tim Healey wrote in his official Twitter account.
Healey notes that deGrom is in excellent company, as â€œthe most recent Mets pitcher to start three consecutive Opening Day games: Johan Santana (2008-10).â€
The Metsâ€™ deGrom belongs in the elite
For years, deGrom has not only been the best and most consistent starter in the New York Metsâ€™ roster, but there is also a very good argument to be made that he is the best pitcher in the planet.
DeGrom won the National League Cy Young award in 2018 and 2019, and had a very good case to lift it last year as well. However, Trevor Bauer took home the honors.
â€œEveryone knows that’s where he falls into place,â€ Rojas said per SNY. â€œThe rest of the pitchers here look up to him, not only for his abilities on the field, but the way he carries himself. He’s one of the first people the clubhouse every day. He’s always early, working hard and has a plan with everything he does. Plus what he’s done in recent years from earning the Rookie of the Year to Cy Young Awards. You can call it an easy decision but everyone’s expecting him to be the guy on Opening Day.â€