Jacob deGrom and the Mets still can’t pinpoint where the discomfort in his elbow came from that forced him back on the shelf last week, but the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner isn’t overly concerned that this could end his brilliant 2021 season.
“I would say no, not right now,” deGrom said. “It depends on hopefully the next image of the inflammation.”
The 33-year-old right-hander is expected to have another MRI on his arm on Aug. 13 as doctors will try to find the exact issue that resulted in deGrom’s sixth injury of the season and 10th over the last two years.
“The frustrating thing is not knowing why it’s there,” deGrom said. “Hopefully it’s gone whenever they look at it again.”
His constant health issues have derailed a season that was supposed to go down in the record books as one of the greatest in MLB history. In 15 starts, he’s 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA — .04 points below Bob Gibson’s modern-era record of 1.12 — 146 strikeouts, a 0.554 WHIP, a 14.3 strikeouts-per-nine-innings mark, and an ERA+ of 324.
Those all led the majors at the time of his placement on the IL on July 15. But with the amount of time now lost, he likely will not qualify for most major pitching titles, including what should have been a no-doubt third Cy Young Award in four years.
“I want to be pitching, that is one of the most frustrating things,” deGrom said. “I feel like I was having the best year of my career and then these little bumps and setbacks and now this.”
Individual accolades aside, his absence has further thrown the Mets’ rotation into the throes of chaos. Marcus Stroman has provided some top-end stuff, but Taijuan Walker’s struggles continued on Tuesday night, one game after Tylor Megill was thumped for four runs in the first inning against the Miami Marlins. Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco is easing his way back into a major-league workload while Rich Hill hasn’t been able to avoid a meltdown inning in his first two starts with the team.
A Mets starter hasn’t won a game since July 23 while they’ve won just four times in the team’s last 47 games.
While the offense has been a no-show, the starting-pitching uncertainty hasn’t helped a team that looks as though they’re about to relinquish first place in the National League East.
The availability of deGrom looks as though it will be paramount for the Mets to see things through and make their way to the postseason for the first time since 2016.
“The goal is to win a World Series and to be a part of that. The personal stuff is secondary,” deGrom said. “But I do miss being out there helping our team and it stinks sitting on the sideline and not being able to compete.”