Mets ace Jacob deGrom has yet to pitch this season because of a stress reaction in his right scapula that was first diagnosed in late spring training. The club on Tuesday provided an update on deGrom that says he’s improving. However, no timetable for his return to the rotation was provided. Here’s the statement in full:
He [deGrom] underwent follow-up imaging yesterday that revealed continued healing in the scapula. He will continue to build distance and velocity in his throwing program, and we will provide an update on his progress when appropriate.
The implication is that deGrom is progressing toward his eventual return but that it’s premature to say when that return might be. Presumably, deGrom is throwing from flat ground, which means he’d need to progress to throwing from a mound to facing hitters before beginning a minor-league rehab assignment, which would probably last at least two weeks. In other words, nothing is imminent.
DeGrom, who turns 34 in June, was outstanding when healthy last season. He pitched to a 1.08 ERA, struck out 146 in 92 innings, and held opposing batters to a .129/.160/.242 line. However, back and forearm issues limited him to just 15 starts. The two-time Cy Young winner has said he plans to opt out of the final year and $30.5 million remaining on his contract after the season.
While the Mets are of course eager to get deGrom back, the rotation has been a strength this season. Led by Max Scherzer, the Mets’ rotation right now ranks sixth in all of MLB with a starters’ ERA of 3.29 and second in MLB with a starters’ K/BB ratio of 3.88.