New York Mets manager Buck Showalter is still remaining tight-lipped on a clear-cut timetable for his ace pitcher, Jacob deGrom’s return from a stress reaction in his right scapula, but things are progressing.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner, who hasn’t pitched on a big-league mound since last July, will join up with the Mets during their west-coast road trip — a nine-game swing against the Dodgers, Padres, and Angels.
“I know additionally he has something from a family standpoint but he will be with us out there for the most part,” Showalter said. “I know more than I’m letting on.”
He was seen throwing in the outfield of Citi Field before the Mets’ series finale on Wednesday afternoon against the Washington Nationals.
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“He’s doing good. Crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s,” Showalter said. “We kind of have a side bet about the order — a kind of handicap on the board on what order each [injured player] will come back.
“But the baseball gods laugh when you tell them about your plans so I don’t [give a date]. We have a pretty good idea when he’s coming back.”
For now, the belief is that the 33-year-old righty will return around early July, making it almost a full year since he pitched a regular-season game for the club. deGrom himself said over the weekend that he feels “completely normal.“
He recently threw from as long as 135 feet during rehab sessions, making the next logical progression in his return a bullpen session where he can begin throwing off a mound.
“We’ve got a set [plan] and then it kind of gets tweaked here and there depending on what’s going on,” Showalter said. “I just don’t want to start going ‘OK, he didn’t reach this so that’s a setback.’ Or if he’s ahead of that, it’s ahead of schedule. That’s a dangerous game to get into.
“He’s going to be ready as soon as he can.”