It’s been a long road back for Jacob deGrom, but the Mets ace took a big step towards returning from injury yesterday, throwing a 60-pitch simulated game without any issues.
Jacob deGrom threw 60 pitches during his simulated game today. He reported "feeling good after the outing," according to a team spokesman.
What that means for his return, we will see in the coming days.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 22, 2022
The fact that Jacob deGrom felt good after the outing is the most significant development in his recovery from a right scapula injury. Just earlier in the week, it was reported that the right-hander was experiencing soreness in his shoulder. He had played catch without issue, but the Mets had pushed back this simulated game to be cautious with their star.
Considering deGrom hasn’t pitched in a big league game since July 7th of 2021 and hasn’t thrown more than 92 innings in a season since 2019, that was undoubtedly the right approach.
But now that deGrom has emerged from this step seemingly unscathed, Mets fans are wondering, “What’s next?”
While there were no velocity readings reported for this simulated game, deGrom apparently looked like himself, even allegedly striking out ten of the 13 batters that he faced. Given that deGrom pitches at an elite level even when he’s 75%, it would be tempting for the Mets to insert him right back into the rotation.
It’s extra enticing considering five days’ rest after yesterday’s simulated game would allow deGrom to pitch on Wednesday at home against the Yankees.
However, with the Mets trending for a playoff birth and with thoughts of a World Series championship on their minds, playing the long game might make more sense. That could mean allowing deGrom to make at least one more rehab start to build his pitch count up to 70-75. This would allow him to be around 80-85 pitches when he returns from injury to make his season debut.
If the Mets do decide to let their ace throw another rehab start, it’s possible that they bring him back for the weekend series against the Atlanta Braves on either Saturday, August 6th or Sunday the 7th.
Either way, Mets fans are inching ever closer to seeing their leader back on the mound in front of a home crowd. What a day that will be. No matter what specific date it comes.