It is a wonderful weekend to be in Port St. Lucie.
In a major move, Jacob deGrom will begin his first rehab on Sunday for Single-A St. Lucie at Clover Park. DeGrom will face the Jupiter Hammerheads, the Marlins’ Single-A affiliate, at 6:10 p.m. in the lights
The Mets ace is expected to throw around two innings and 25 pitches. It would be his first time facing another opponent since spring training in March, when he was diagnosed with a stress reaction on his right scapula. He last pitched in a major-league game on July 7, 2021.
“Every day we can check a box off that one day we feel better and clearly one day closer,” said Mets GM Billy Epler. “The fact that he has been able to meet these goals and standards is keeping us optimistic and on course.”
Eppler indicated that the ramp-up of DeGrom is essentially Spring Training 2.0. In other words, the right-hander’s two innings on Sunday will equal what the Mets would expect from their ace in his spring training debut. After his rehab assignment on Sunday, the Mets will check in with DeGrom to see how he feels every step of the way. It is not clear whether he will be on the normal, five-day schedule from that time on.
Hopefully the club will be extra careful with its ace as his rehab proceeds. For example, his schedule and ramp-up won’t mimic Max Scherzer’s recent rehab with left oblique strain. Scherzer needed to start just two rehabs before he could get the green light to start for the Mets this upcoming Tuesday in Cincinnati.
DeGrom, on the other hand, needs to begin about a month of rehab before returning to the Major as he is essentially starting from scratch. Still, there’s a very real possibility for DeGrom to be back in the rotation before July is over.
“He’s hit every benchmark. We’ll come every day as soon as we can,” Buck Showalter said, probably trying to quell any hopes about the ace.
In fact, these next few weeks will be crucial for DeGrom to prove that his arm and shoulder can handle the extra workload without jerks. The two-time Cy Young winner has suffered a number of deformities over the past few seasons, none more damaging than an elbow injury that caused him to miss the second half of 2021.
Of course, degroms are a major part of the Mets’ potential 2022 success. Fans are still waiting to see DeGrom and Scherzer head to the top of the rotation, and if both can stay healthy in the second half, the sky could be the limit for just one Mets team that finished first in the NL. has succeeded. The former without their co-aces for a significant amount of time.
For now, all eyes will be on DeGrom as he continues his long journey down a major league mound.