The results of New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom’s MRI on Wednesday came back clean, according to manager Luis Rojas, allowing him to play catch for the first time in weeks.
There is still no definitive timetable for the 33-year-old’s return, but the hope is that he can be on the mound shortly after he’s eligible to come off the 60-day injured list on Sept. 13.
“We’ll see where we go from here,” Rojas said. “At least getting to play catch, that’s great news for us.”
There was an earlier indication that the MRI had gone well as deGrom was seen throwing in the Citi Field outfield roughly three-and-a-half hours before the first pitch of Wednesday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
DeGrom has not started a game since July 7 before forearm tightness landed him on the 10-day injured list. During his recovery, inflammation in his right elbow cropped up; which delayed his comeback even further.
His absence has been one of the highlights of the Mets’ free-fall out of first-place and contention in the National League East as they entered Wednesday night’s action 6.5 games out of first place with 36 games to play.
“It would be huge to have him at the end if we start playing better baseball,” Rojas hoped. “It would be great to see Jacob late in the season, maybe even at the perfect point if we’re closing the gap.”
Even if the Mets’ descent out of contention continues at its blitzing pace, management has maintained the importance of ensuring deGrom sees the hill again at some point this season.
“It’s important for him to be in a good place going into the offseason,” Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said. “It can influence how we set up his offseason plan — what he’s going to do working out or throwing programs… there’s value there even if he never gets in a game.
“Just getting him to that point to see how he responds physically, I think we’ll learn something that can help us going forward.”