New York Mets manager Buck Showalter made it official on Sunday before his team’s series finale against the Miami Marlins: Jacob deGrom is back.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner and arguably the best pitcher in baseball will make his 2022 debut on Tuesday in the nation’s capital against the Washington Nationals — completing his recovery and rehabilitation from a stress reaction in his right scapula just before the start of the season.
It will be the first time that the 34-year-old will be on a major-league mound in over a calendar year, July 7, 2021, when his historic season was derailed due to elbow and forearm issues.
His return ensures that the Mets will have their starting rotation fully healthy and intact for the first time this year. With it also comes the realization that deGrom and Max Scherzer will finally create one of the most formidable 1-2 starting-pitching punches in Major League Baseball.
The boost appears to provide another upgrade to a pitching staff that has been especially exceptional as of late. The combination of Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker has led the charge as Mets starters have allowed two or fewer earned runs in 14 straight games, which is the longest streak in franchise history. They’ve also combined to post a 1.58 ERA since July 7, which is by far the best in baseball during that stretch.
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There is expected to be a strict pitch count for deGrom upon his return considering he maxed out at 67 pitches during his fourth and final rehab start with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse on Wednesday. However, the Mets will take anything they can from one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.
Since the start of the 2018 season, the right-hander has posted a 1.94 ERA with a 0.881 WHIP and a full-season average of 289 strikeouts. He was on pace to have the finest pitching season since 1968 last year before injury issues cropped up. In 15 starts, he was 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA and 146 strikeouts.