NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom cleared the final hurdle standing between himself and a return from the injured list, throwing his second bullpen session in three days on Wednesday. He came out of it feeling fine and was officially activated about 90 minutes before he was scheduled to throw the first pitch of Friday's game against the Brewers at Citi Field.
deGrom, who last pitched on April 14 in Atlanta, experienced a minor bout of elbow soreness the following week. He traveled to New York for an MRI, which was negative, and characterized the issue as minor. Mets officials said the issue likely stemmed from an interruption to his throwing program after deGrom contracted strep throat earlier this month.
The entire episode will wind up costing deGrom only one start. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, deGrom is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA in four outings this season.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET on MLB.TV.
Taking it easy
The sore left oblique that forced outfielder Brandon Nimmo from Tuesday’s game was enough to keep him out of the lineup on Wednesday. Nimmo, who also missed two games last week due to a stiff neck, took a seat for the third time in seven games.
Still, the Mets do not consider the issue serious. Nimmo entered Wednesday's 6-0 loss to the Phillies as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, and played the final three innings in center field without issue. He is likely to return to the starting lineup on Friday.
For someone who has rarely started this season, first baseman Dominic Smith hasn’t lacked for time on the field.
Tuesday’s win over the Phillies marked the first time all season that Smith did not make it into a game. Smith started two of the Mets' first 22 contests, entered 13 as a pinch-hitter and entered seven as a defensive replacement for Pete Alonso.
“It helps tremendously,” said Smith, who started in place of Alonso for the third time on Wednesday. “Granted, I’m not starting every game, but I’m getting in there a lot. My mindset is I know I’m going to play every day, and I know I need to stay locked in. Me continuously being able to get at-bats every day like that is definitely helpful for days like this, when I do get to get in here and start and play.”
The main difference on days when Smith starts? Less pregame work. He mostly stays out of the weight room and batting cage, saving his reps for the field itself.
Making a difference
Before Wednesday’s game, Amed Rosario met with a group of children from the El Puente Leadership Center in Brooklyn to kick off “Rosario’s Kids,” his new charitable initiative. The program aims to have an impact on the lives of children through sport and mentorship.