Jacob deGrom’s 2021 season teetering on brink as shutdown chances increase: report

Jacob deGrom Mets
Mets ace Jacob deGrom
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It appears as though the likelihood of the New York Mets shutting down their superstar starting pitcher, Jacob deGrom, for the remainder of the 2021 season is increasing. 

As first reported by Pat Ragazzo of Sports Illustrated, the Mets are “leaning toward” keeping the two-time Cy Young Award winner on the shelf for the rest of the year while they trudge through the toughest stretch of their season — all while sinking down the standings.

In fact, the chance of deGrom’s shutdown is believed to be at “99.9%” per Ragazzo.

After a 12-inning victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday snapped a five-game losing streak, the Mets entered Thursday night 4.5 games back of the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves with eight games left against the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.

“It makes sense [to shut deGrom down] if the Mets are out of playoff contention,” a source told amNewYork Metro on Thursday.

DeGrom last pitched on July 7 before forearm tightness landed him on the 10-day injured list. During his recovery, inflammation in his right elbow cropped up; which is currently the crux of his issues.

The forecast surrounding deGrom has taken a dramatic turn in recent days. On Monday, deGrom had a routine checkup with Dr. David Altchek, who said that the ace’s inflammation was “improving.” However, that didn’t change the Mets’ timetable on their star, which was originally set last week by Dr. Neal ElAttrache — one of the country’s top elbow surgeons — who told deGrom last Thursday that he shouldn’t pick up a baseball for two weeks.

“He is still in that two-week period,” Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said on Monday. “Usually then, we re-image and take it from there. Assuming it continues to look better, we’ll start building him back up.”

The 33-year-old right-hander has suffered six different injuries this season, throwing what should have been one of the great starting-pitching seasons in the live-ball era woefully off course. 

An MRI is scheduled for deGrom at the end of the month where a clearer picture of his progress will be revealed. But should the Mets’ struggles continue — they’re 5-12 in August — non-contention will allow for an easy decision to play it safe with the best pitcher in baseball and make sure he’s 100% ready to go for 2022.