In third rehab start, deGrom fans 4, allows 1 unearned run

July 15th, 2022

made his third Minor League rehab start Thursday as he continues to work his way back from a stress reaction in his right scapula that has sidelined him since March. The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner pitched for Triple-A Syracuse against Jacksonville at NBT Bank Stadium after making two rehab appearances with Low-A Port St. Lucie.

deGrom threw 42 pitches (29 strikes) over four innings, giving up one unearned run on two hits while walking one and striking out four. His fastball touched 100 mph on multiple occasions, including the third pitch of a three-pitch strikeout to open the game. The right-hander got a pair of flyouts to complete a 1-2-3 first inning, but he ran into a bit of trouble in the second, when he surrendered a leadoff double, followed by a walk.

Despite allowing two baserunners to open the frame, deGrom induced a 4-6-3 double play and struck out the next batter to escape unscathed. In the third, deGrom yielded a one-out single to Jacksonville's Santiago Chavez that was misplayed in center field, resulting in Chavez reaching second. A flyout moved Chavez to third, and a deGrom wild pitch enabled Chavez to score. deGrom then struck out Willians Astudillo to end the inning.

The fourth inning was a quick one for deGrom, who set the Jumbo Shrimp down in order on seven pitches.

"I felt good," deGrom said after the outing. "I felt a little out of whack in the first couple innings, but then tried to make a little bit of an adjustment -- I wasn't locating my fastball quite like I wanted to early on, but the last couple innings went a lot better."

deGrom has yet to make his season debut in the Majors and though the Mets have been tightlipped about his rehab timeline, the general expectation is that he will get one more rehab start -- likely in a simulated setting because most of the Minor Leagues are shut down during the All-Star break -- before returning to the Mets' rotation. The club has weathered being without its ace all season, maintaining a first-place standing in the National League East as it looks forward to deGrom's return.

Overall, deGrom has not given up an earned run over 8 2/3 innings during this Minor League rehab stint, yielding five hits while walking one and striking out 15. He remains on track to potentially make his first start of the season for the Mets during the club's July 22-27 homestand against the Padres and Yankees.

For his part, deGrom isn't shy about his impatience when it comes to completing his rehab and taking the mound on a big league field again.

"It hasn't been that much fun," he said after Thursday's outing. "I'm trying to stick to the process. I want to be up there helping the [Mets]. … With this injury, it was kind of cut and dried -- hey, you've gotta take this amount of time and slowly work your way back. It stinks being out, but getting close now, so definitely ready to be back up there."