Mother’s Day was nearly ruined for diehard New York Mets’ fans when Jacob deGrom left his start in the top of the sixth inning with head trainer Brian Chickillo. deGrom, who had missed his previous start due to right lat tightness, appeared to aggravate the injury at some point during the game. The Mets announced during the game that the decision to lift deGrom was precautionary due to more soreness on his right side and have received some good news on the MRI front according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.
NEWS: Jacob deGrom’s initial prognosis is good, after he left Sunday’s start early due to tightness in his right side. After an MRI, the #Mets are optimistic that, while deGrom’s next start could be delayed, a stay on the IL likely won’t be necessary. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 10, 2021
There aren’t details as to exactly what is wrong with deGrom yet, but it is noteworthy that the Mets believe his next start could be delayed. If the Mets kept deGrom on regular rest his next start would be Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays, but the schedule does offer a pair of off days on Monday and Thursday of this week, meaning the Mets could push deGrom out until next Tuesday without needing a fifth starter in the rotation.
The other bit of good news for the Mets is that their first series of the trip is in Tampa Bay, an American League city where the Mets can utilize the DH. That fact makes it easier for the Mets to carry a nine-man bullpen since they won’t have to burn pinch hitters, making the bullpen day an option on Saturday.
The real date for the Mets to make a decision on deGrom is on Saturday, when an IL stint would need to be backdated to today to avoid losing too much time with him. Placing deGrom on the injured list on Saturday would bump his return date back to the 20th, when the Mets play the Miami Marlins, giving deGrom at least 11 days to get ready for his next start. Given how important deGrom is to the Mets’ plans for this season caution should be the most prudent course of action at this point.
The off days and a lineup that is starting to hit a bit better should allow the Mets to get by for a couple of weeks without their ace. Losing deGrom for an extended period of time would be devastating, even if Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco are returning next month. There is no question that deGrom will have a heavy say in the process since he is the Mets’ best player but it is important that the team’s medical staff is confident that he is fully healthy before he takes the mound again.