The Mets’ Jacob deGrom will start the season on the injured list

JUPITER, Florida – Entering the 2022 season with record salaries and several new talented players, the Mets had high hopes. Perhaps the biggest reason for this revolved around star drinkers Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, the leaders of what was supposed to be one of the best starting rotations in baseball.

But six days before the opening day in Washington on April 7 – a task that had to go to deGrom, two-time Sai Young Award winner – the Mets are shaking. On Friday, a day after the team first learned that his ace was dealing with shoulder throw discomfort, the Mets announced that he could miss the whole of April.

Diagnosis after an MRI scan on Friday morning: a stress reaction (considered a precursor to a stress fracture) in his right shoulder blade that caused inflammation. The Mets said DeGrom will not throw until four weeks, after which there will be another MRI

“He’s disappointed,” said Mets general manager Billy Eppler as his team played against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring practice match in Jupiter, Florida. “We are disappointed.”

DeGrom’s injury comes at a critical time not only for the Mets, but for himself. After winning the Cy Young Awards in the National League in 2018 and 2019, deGrom is on track to claim another in 2021. But after keeping his average earnings at 1.08 for 92 innings until July, deGrom missed the last three months of the season with a right elbow injury – a terrible proposal for any pitcher, but especially for those who underwent surgery on Tommy John in 2010 and a separate operation to repair nerve damage in the elbow in 2016.

The 33-year-old DeGrom reported healthy this spring training session and, apparently in order to have a dominant season, announced that he plans to exercise the clause in his five-year contract for 137.5 million dollars, which allowed him to give up after the 2022 season. .

Asked how long he expects deGrom to miss, Epler said it’s hard to say and the timeline depends on deGrom’s healing. Epler said deGrom could feel better in less than four weeks, but based on what the MRI revealed, one month is a reasonable amount of time to wait before undergoing another.

If deGrom resumes the throw after four weeks, he will still have to return to form. A guideline for novice pitchers is that each missed week requires another week to build the arm and body back, so deGrom can face at least two months.

Reactions to the stress of throwing the shoulder have previously disturbed other players, such as Michael Wachcha and Brandon McCarthy, sometimes repeatedly. Responding to news of DeGrom’s injury, retired McCarthy wrote on Twitter: “Since this trauma should technically be named after me, I can say that this is really not a big deal. Not as big as it looks. He will be OK.”

Eppler said the deGrom’s injury had developed over time and that doctors had found that the rest of the pitcher’s shoulder was healthy. He and Mets manager Buck Shawolter said they had no idea if this year’s delayed and shortened spring training had injured deGrom.

“It would be easy to blame,” Shawalter said, then said of other baseball injuries: “We all work under the same. You see, a lot of them are happening. “

Although the 37-year-old Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young winner, won the Mets this winter with a record three-year deal of $ 130 million, it seemed the obvious choice to replace deGrom on opening day, Shawalter said he wanted to talk to other members of the front. office before announcing a decision.

Among the less proven options for filling the rotation hole are Tyler Megill, David Peterson and Trevor Williams. Epler said he felt good about the depth of rotation the Mets had already accumulated. After Scherzer in the rotation, the Mets have veteran pitchers Carlos Carasco, Taiyuan Walker and Chris Bassit, whom they acquired in an exchange last month.

“The sky is not falling,” Shawolter said grimly at the end of Friday’s game, which was briefly interrupted by wet weather. “It’s raining.”

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