The slight breeze you felt was a strong breath from the Mets staff in Florida.
These things can change quickly, of course, and the Mets will want to see how he feels on Friday, but Jacob de Grom seems to be fine.
DeGrom, whose rehab assignment landed on his first known speed bump this week, threw 60 pitches in a simulated game in Port St. Lucie on Thursday and said he felt good, the Mets said. This was reported by Mike Puma from The Post. the club was encouraged by how upbeat the superstar sounded after the outing.
In his previous rehab start, deGrom threw 42 innings in four innings, and manager Buck Showalter said they want him to stretch to at least five innings before he debuts in 2022. Maybe 60 fields fit.
The simulation game was his fourth “start” in rehab, as well as his first and only game out of the public eye during a minor league hiatus and after health concerns delayed the exit by two days.
DeGrom’s rehab went smoothly until Sunday, when the Mets said he felt “moderate muscle soreness around his shoulder.” DeGrom’s simulation game, which was scheduled for Tuesday, was instead rescheduled for Thursday. The club said deGrom played ball Monday and Tuesday without incident.
A minor setback left him unable to discuss the upcoming series at Citi Field against the Padres. He may make his season debut on Tuesday or Wednesday against the Yankees, although the Mets may be especially wary of his shoulder pain.
DeGrom hasn’t set foot at the top of the major leagues in over a year. Forearm and elbow injuries ended his 2021 campaign in early July – he was Cy Young’s favorite to missed time and finished with a 1.08 ERA – and this year he has reported he feels good in camp.
The right-hander lasted five Grapefruit League innings before experiencing discomfort behind his right shoulder, and an MRI scan found a stress response on his right shoulder blade that kept him from shooting for four weeks.
For some, this diagnosis was comforting: it was not an exacerbation of a previous injury or a soft tissue lesion that might require surgery. There was a feeling that as soon as he healed, he would be fine.
“The good news is there’s nothing structurally wrong with the rotator cuff and all that stuff,” general manager Billy Eppler said at the time. “But we’re dealing with a bone problem, and when you’re dealing with bones, they calcify. The healing stats will take care of themselves, so I think that’s a positive thing that we’ll leave with.”
DeGrom started throwing again in May, returned to action in June, and began rehab earlier this month. He was his usual dominant self in three rehab starts with Single-A St. Lucie and Triple-A Syracuse when his fastball regularly registered 100 mph. In 8²/₃ innings, he allowed no earned run and struck out 15 in one outing. There were no radar readings or ballpark results provided by the Mets after Thursday’s outing.
After starting his second rehab, deGrom said he hoped to “be in the big leagues soon.”
“It’s step by step, but I’m following the process, how it’s been laid out, and just trying not to do too much,” deGrom told reporters in Florida on July 8. – Everything is fine”.
Despite deGrom’s troubles and Max Scherzer being sidelined with an oblique deformity that sent him to 11 first-half starts, the Mets’ rotation posted a 3.71 ERA, the eighth most in baseball before the break. Taihuang Walker proved to be the third ace, David Peterson was great and Carlos Carrasco recovered from a tough 2021 season.
Scherzer is back but turns 38 next week. Walker pulled out the second half of last season. Peterson is nearing his total professional innings since last year, and Carrasco has nearly doubled his total since last season. Chris Bassit has been a rise and fall. There are potential issues around the Mets rotation, which made deGrom’s return all the more important.
Although fears have arisen, this return now seems closer than ever.
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