For a second-straight year, the New York Mets are facing extended time without their ace — and arguably the best pitcher in baseball — Jacob deGrom after it was revealed over the weekend that he suffered a stress reaction in his right scapula (shoulder blade) that will shut him down for up to four weeks.
The 33-year-old right-hander was looking like his former self in spring training as he worked back from an elbow issue that shut down what would have been a historic 2021 season in July until this latest shoulder issue cropped up on Thursday.
He was shut down from his exhibition start and underwent an MRI Friday morning which revealed what was his 11th injury in the past 21 months.
DeGrom told the media on Sunday morning that he was “really frustrated,” with recent events that continue to keep him off the mound (h/t Mike Puma, New York Post), but his off-field plans remain unchanged.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner will still opt out of his contract following the 2022 season despite the ever-growing questions of his long-term viability as an elite ace due to the onslaught of injury problems.
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On Saturday, Mets manager Buck Showalter equated the deGrom situation to a midseason acquisition commonly seen near Major League Baseball’s trade deadline.
“I look at it, think about how strong he is going to be as the season progresses,” Showalter said at Clover Park. “What’s the trade deadline nowadays? That’s a pretty good addition instead of a trade, Jacob deGrom.”
Regardless, the Mets’ hopes of a full season with one of the most imposing one-two punches in baseball have gone up in smoke.
While deGrom has been shut down, the newly-acquired Max Scherzer — a three-time Cy Young Award winner — missed his last spring-training start due to a hamstring issue. However, it doesn’t seem serious, at least to the veteran right-hander.
“I’ve had kind of these little hamstring injuries before and they go away in days,” Scherzer said. “I am fortunate enough, I have been pretty good to not have serious hamstring injuries, I have just had little hiccups and I think this is the same thing. I think this is a little hiccup.”