Is that ... Jacob deGrom throwing a baseball?

April 20th, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Mets ace Jacob deGrom played catch in the outfield at Busch Stadium on Saturday morning, and now there is a possibility that he won’t undergo a scheduled MRI exam on his right elbow on Monday.

deGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, told reporters that his arm felt fine, and he got up to 120 feet during his throwing session. He decided to throw after responding well to treatment on Friday.

“It was just a little sore,” deGrom said. “I had been sick since Atlanta; kind of had a whole body soreness. For me when I don’t throw, it seems that things pop up. I wasn’t on a normal routine. I was trying to just get enough in to be able to make my starts and I just felt a little soreness in my elbow. I decided to say something.”

deGrom was scheduled to start against the Cardinals on Saturday. Chris Flexen was called up from Triple-A Syracuse to make the start after deGrom was placed on the injured list retroactive to Tuesday and in his first Major League start of the year, Flexen allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits with four walks over 4 1/3 innings in an eventual 10-2 loss.

deGrom will still be examined by team doctors Monday in New York, but given that he had an MRI three weeks ago when he signed a five-year contract extension, there is little concern that he will need another one.

deGrom, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, has struggled over his last two outings, after tying Bob Gibson’s record for consecutive quality starts. The righty has given up nine runs on 13 hits -- five homers -- with 12 strikeouts and five walks in nine innings over his past two trips to the mound.

He believes those struggles are not related to his elbow.

“I’ve had Tommy John before and done those tests and everything feels fine with that,” deGrom said. “I’m not really worried about the spot it’s in. It’s just more being smart and not trying to do too much too early and risk a more serious injury.”

deGrom believes he will be ready to go once his injured list stint ends on Friday. It was his decision to throw without an MRI.

“It goes back to the throwing thing for me,” deGrom said. “I feel better when I throw. We had that discussion -- maybe we should just wait until we see the doctor? I said, 'It’s not feeling bad so why go two more, almost three more days without throwing?' And now you’re trying to get ready and you got all those days and now I’ve got a bullpen Tuesday. So what is the point if I feel fine to throw?”