Jacob deGrom is slowly working his way back from the stress reaction in his right scapula that has held him out of the first two-plus months of the 2022 season — and has kept him off an MLB mound for an entire calendar year.
News of a major step in his rehab came down this week when he began throwing to live hitters on Tuesday. The Mets said all went well in what was the two-time Cy Young Award winner’s first time facing real batters since spring training.
The next steps are still uncertain, though it is believed that deGrom will begin ramping up through rehab starts as long as he felt good this week. A date on when those will begin remains unclear.
On Thursday, though, SNY’s Andy Martino reported that people within the Mets organization “are hoping that Jacob deGrom will be back in the big leagues a few weeks ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.”
That’s awfully close to the loose timetable that had been prescribed for deGrom’s return, anyway. If all goes well and he can begin his rehab starts within the next week, a mid-July debut before Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game on July 19 doesn’t seem all too unrealistic.
His reintroduction to the starting rotation would provide a further sense of normalcy for a unit that has been decimated by injuries throughout the season.
The Mets are eagerly awaiting the return of Max Scherzer from a strained oblique while Tylor Megill has been shut down for four months due to a shoulder injury.
Carlos Carrasco also sustained a shoulder injury on Wednesday against the Houston Astros, but the severity of it has been downplayed.
Regardless, getting deGrom back will allow the Mets to take stock in what they have in terms of starting pitching heading toward the stretch run — as Martino alluded to — to help decipher just how much pitching help they’ll need to go after ahead of the trade deadline.