NEW YORK — Mets ace Jacob deGrom says his injured right shoulder blade looks “completely normal” and he’s waiting for New York medical staff to clear him to start throwing a mound again.
DeGrom has been sidelined since the end of spring training with a stress reaction in his shoulder blade. The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner played Friday at 135 feet, but he still doesn’t know when he’ll throw his first bullpen or be ready for the game.
“I feel completely normal,” he said Saturday before New York’s game against Philadelphia. “So I think that’s where it’s going to be, are we pushing on it? Right? That’s going to be the discussion for the next few days, and when we get to the mound, what’s the safest way to go about it?”
DeGrom, 33, says he believes the stress reaction happened because spring training was delayed and shortened to four weeks after baseball’s 99-day lockdown. DeGrom also missed the second half of the 2021 season with an elbow injury, adding strain to his body to prepare quickly for 2022.
“When I look at this, you have a short surge and you haven’t pitched a competition in, what, eight months?” he said. “So I felt like that was probably what did this to me.”
DeGrom said his shoulder looked normal with a few weeks off. He’s had multiple rounds of MRIs, and his most recent scan showed complete healing of his scapula. He doesn’t anticipate needing another MRI, but says he leaves that decision to the Mets medical team.
He says he’s not afraid of making the stress reaction worse.
“You know, normally bones heal stronger,” he said. “Last report was good, and they said it was completely cured. So now just make sure he handles the throw and nothing appears.”
The Mets, of course, have largely been fine without deGrom. They lead the NL East with a 30-17 record, even after compatriot Max Scherzer went down this month with an oblique stump that is expected to sideline him for six to eight weeks.
DeGrom is signed through 2023 on a five-year, $137.5 million deal that includes a $32.5 million club option for 2024, but he can opt out of the contract after this season.
DeGrom acknowledged that being healthy for September and October could take priority over a quick comeback if New York stays on track for the playoffs.
“It stinks not being there,” he said. “That’s what we love to do, compete, and we haven’t been able to compete in a while. So that’s where it is, you want to go out, you probably want to go more than you’re supposed to. do it, but then you have to think about it because if you leave too early, you’re going to end up running out of time, so he’s trying to balance all that.
Mets CF Brandon Nimmo had an MRI on his right wrist Saturday that turned out to be clean, but he was ruled out of the roster. Manager Buck Showalter said he expects Nimmo to get an injection, but he doesn’t expect New York’s leadoff batter to miss much time. … RHP Yoan Lopez has been cast for Triple-A Syracuse, and OF Nick Plummer has been called up.