Jacob deGrom’s return is inching ever-so-closer.
As first reported by MLB Network’s Joel Sherman, the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to make his third rehab start on Thursday for the team’s Triple-A Syracuse affiliate.
The 33-year-old right-hander has not appeared on an MLB mound for a regular-season game in over a calendar year (July 7, 2021) due to a litany of injury issues — the most recent coming just before the start of the 2022 season when he suffered a stress reaction in his right scapula.
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DeGrom had successfully completed two previous rehab starts for the Mets’ Single-A affiliate in Port St. Lucie, FL. He threw 36 pitches in his previous outing on Friday night, going three scoreless innings while allowing three hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
“It’s step by step, but I have been following the process how it was laid out and just trying not to do too much,” deGrom said after that start. “Everything feels good. Pitching my first game in a couple months [his first rehab start for St. Lucie on July 2], I responded really well and was able to go out there and throw three innings tonight.
“Hopefully, I’ll keep moving forward like this and be back in the big leagues before too long.”
The jump to Triple-A will allow the Mets to further stretch deGrom out a bit closer to home against tougher competition as they ramp him up for his 2022 season debut in the majors. All signs continue to point to the New York ace getting back shortly after the All-Star break.
“You can tell he’s upbeat about where he is,” Showalter said of deGrom on June 29. “The body language more than anything… I wish I’d seen him more up close and personal but he’s where you’d expect from a guy who’s getting closer. He’s enamored with what’s going on right now.