New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom threw 27 pitches against live hitters down in Port St. Lucie, FL Wednesday morning as he continues inching toward his 2022 season debut and the completion of his recovery from a stress reaction in his right scapula.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Mets manager Buck Showalter, who watched the session from the team’s clubhouse at Citi Field, said before Wednesday’s matinee against the Houston Astros. “We have a schedule worked out and we’ll know what happens if everything feels good tomorrow so I don’t want to get ahead.
Showalter opted not to share the schedule of what deGrom’s next step might be, but offered a glint of optimism based on what he saw from the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
“You can tell he’s upbeat about where he is,” Showalter said. “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.”
As the calendar flips from June to July, the Mets are entering the month in which deGrom is expected to return to the team after what is expected to be a number of rehab starts in the minor leagues. Reported hopes within the organization is that he’ll be able to get back a few weeks before the Aug. 2 trade deadline — regardless of whether that’s right before or after the All-Star Game on July 19.
“Looking forward to throwing June away here in a couple days,” Showalter said. “We got July we’re looking at and he’s followed every [target in his rehab] on the button.”
The 33-year-old right-hander was shut down just before Opening Day due to the injury, which has now kept him off a major-league mound for a calendar year.
While the Mets have done enough to not just stay afloat, but jump out to first place in the National League East, they’ve understandably been cautious with deGrom, who has seen his Hall-of-Fame trajectory derailed in recent years due to lingering injury issues.
At least with this rehab though — despite its length — things continue to look good.
“He hasn’t had anything that’s taken him off schedule so far,” Showalter said. “We feel pretty confident about what’s being done for him to be cleared. I think he’ll stay on this schedule. There’s no reason to deviate from it.”
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