deGrom optimistic he'll return this season

August 3rd, 2021

As he continues to battle through a campaign defined by injuries, offered optimism on Tuesday that he can contribute to the Mets before season’s end.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the Mets revealed he would be shut down from throwing for two weeks due to right elbow inflammation, deGrom said he doesn’t feel his season is in jeopardy.

“You never want to feel anything in your elbow,” deGrom told reporters at Marlins Park in Miami. “Concerning? Yeah, I don’t like it. I want to be pitching. That’s one of the most frustrating things -- I feel like I was having the best year of my career, and then these little bumps and setbacks, and now this. So it’s definitely frustrating. A little bit concerning. But how it feels this past week, I think is a plus.”

deGrom has not thrown a baseball since the Mets shut him down last week, and he won’t attempt to do so until a follow-up MRI comes out clean. He’s scheduled for that toward the end of next week.

A best-case scenario would have deGrom restart a throwing program next weekend, begin a Minor League rehab assignment by the end of the month, then return to the Mets in early September. But the margin for error is slim; any additional setback could cost deGrom most of the rest of the remaining season. Already, deGrom has missed time this year due to lat, forearm, elbow and shoulder issues.

In the interim, the Mets will rely on a rotation of Marcus Stroman, Taijuan Walker, Carlos Carrasco, Rich Hill and Tylor Megill, with recent trade acquisition Trevor Williams prepared to step in if anyone else gets hurt. It’s a fine group, but the Mets know what they are missing without deGrom -- a two-time Cy Young Award winner who produced a 1.08 ERA in 15 starts prior to his injury.

“Obviously, losing the G.O.A.T., anybody could look in from the outside and obviously see that it’s a huge hit, but it’s not something that we can dwell on in the clubhouse,” Stroman said recently. “It’s not something that we can sit and hope that he’s going to be back here tomorrow, as much as we all do. It’s reality. We’re all praying for Jake. We’re all hoping that he gets back as quickly as possible, and we’re going to have to do our part while he’s gone to hold them down.”