Posted on September 3, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Bad news continues to roll in for the New York Mets starting rotation. Earlier this week, the team learned that Steven Matz will remain on the DL with a sore shoulder despite hope that he would return on Thursday, and on Friday the team learned that Jacob deGrom will miss his next start due to elbow trouble. DeGrom started on Thursday against the Miami Marlins, but had his previous start skipped in hopes of getting him extra rest for the stretch run. The Mets are now unsure when deGrom will be able to return to the mound.
In his start Thursday, deGrom pitched five innings, allowing three runs and taking the loss. It was an improvement from his previous two starts before his turn was skipped, but not what the Mets were hoping to get from one of aces, especially with Matz still on the DL. After Thursday’s start, deGrom was seen going to the clubhouse with Mets trainer Ray Ramirez, and on Friday the Mets sent deGrom to have an MRI.
“Honestly, I wasn’t really that worried about it,” deGrom said Friday. “It got a little stiff last night. I thought I’d be all right. When we did a precautionary MRI, it showed a little inflammation. But I think that might be from having bad mechanics — my arm is dragging, and it just caused it to flare up a little bit. It’s nothing bad. Something flared up in there, and I think they want to be safe with it and not risk anything. It’s comforting that we did get a look at it and there’s nothing wrong.”
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The elbow issue does not appear to be anything major, but it’s enough for the Mets to keep deGrom out for at least one start. The Mets have not said if deGrom will miss just one start or possibly more, but deGrom seemed confident on Friday that he would be back before the end of the season. “I plan on being back out there before too long,” deGrom said. “It’s nothing serious.”
The Mets are already working with two rookies, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, in their starting rotation, and now they’ll have to add a third young starter to the rotation, most likely on Tuesday when deGrom was scheduled to pitch. Rafael Montero is an option to take that spot after starting in deGrom’s place last week when he was skipped. Gabriel Ynoa, Sean Gilmartin, and Logan Verrett are also options.
The Mets are currently two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot, but they could have trouble continuing to close the gap with both deGrom and Matz on the shelf. The Mets have won nine of their last 13 games with the help of their young pitchers, but there’s no guarantee that will continue with deGrom and Matz on the shelf. If deGrom and Matz can return in short order, it could be enough to get the reigning National League champions back in the playoffs. However, New York’s postseason hopes may hinge on the health of those two pitchers, and right now, the health of both is a huge question mark hanging over the Mets.