deGrom (wrist) exits after 4 hitless innings: 'I'm not too concerned'

April 18th, 2023

KANSAS CITY --  showcased his overpowering stuff while pitching four hitless innings against the Royals on Monday, but then he was suddenly lifted from his first road start as the ace of the Rangers’ staff.

In a precautionary move, deGrom didn’t come out for the fifth because of right wrist soreness. The right-hander couldn’t pinpoint the cause of the soreness, but said he began to feel it as he was warming up in the bullpen. The pitches were coming out fine, but the soreness lingered. So, with the Rangers leading 4-0 and Dane Dunning ready to go, a decision was made to call it a night.

“I thought it was going to loosen up and it actually tightened up as the game went on,” deGrom said. “So, playing it smart. Could I have kept going? Probably. But it was lingering and got a little worse.”

With the reliable Dunning there to cover deGrom, manager Bruce Bochy said it was an easy call to not take any chances that the wrist soreness would cause deGrom to alter his mechanics.

Dunning picked right up where deGrom left off as the Rangers kept Kansas City stuck in neutral and rolled to a 4-0 victory. A three-run homer by Josh Jung in the first and a solo shot by Marcus Semien in the third gave Texas all the offense it would need as the Rangers held the Royals to one hit. Matt Duffy had a one-out single off Dunning in the fifth and that was it for the Kansas City attack. The last time the Rangers gave up just one hit came on May 11, 2018 against the Astros.

“[Dunning] did a great job of picking us up,” deGrom said. “Hats off to him.”

Although deGrom said he was able to throw all his pitches, the wrist soreness kept nagging at him. 

“Once it wasn’t loosening up, I said let’s not do anything dumb where I end up changing my mechanics,” he said. “That was the thought process behind it. I think we made the smart move. I’m not too concerned. I’d like to think I’m going to make my next [start] but we’ll see how it is tomorrow.”

Coming off a high intensity series against the Astros, the Rangers got right back to work in the first inning. After Semien reached on a Hunter Dozier throwing error and Travis Jankowski bunted for a hit, Jung came through with his  three-run homer off Kansas City starter Jordan Lyles.

“He hung a slider and I put a good swing on it and finally made contact out front,” Jung said. “Coming in here after an emotional series at Houston, it would have been easy to have a lull. To get us going like that was huge. I felt like it helped set the tone.”