Jacob deGrom’s status remains uncertain, and it sounds like it will stay that way until the day his next turn in the Mets’ rotation arrives, on Monday against the Braves.
Manager Luis Rojas said the Mets are continuing to take a day-to-day approach with their ace right-hander — who left his most recent start on Wednesday versus the Cubs after three perfect innings with right-shoulder soreness — and have no plans to announce a decision at the moment.
Rojas said the Mets are still not sure what triggered the soreness in deGrom’s shoulder, if it was swinging, running or pitching.
“Monday’s going to be the day. That’s how we want to approach it,” Rojas said over Zoom on Friday before the Mets’ 1-0 loss to the Nationals in the opener of a three-game series in Washington. “Today went really well. We want tomorrow to go really well, too. But that’s what we’re targeting right now, see how he comes in tomorrow and see how he progresses and he does his full blown side. Monday is a TBA right now.”
An MRI exam of the shoulder came back clean and was looked at by two different doctors, according to the Mets. Rojas said deGrom isn’t experiencing any abnormal soreness.
After playing catch on Thursday, deGrom threw a 10-pitch side session on Friday, continuing to follow his normal between-starts routine. Rojas wouldn’t entertain any hypothetical situations, and he declined to say whether deGrom would start Monday if he remains pain-free.
“He came in and felt good,” Rojas said. “He went out there and threw his usual 10-pitch side he throws the second day after he pitches. He felt good. A very good day. We’re still approaching this day-by-day.”
DeGrom has left his past two starts early due to health ailments. He went just six innings and 80 pitches on June 11 against the Padres due to right flexor tendinitis. DeGrom also missed two starts after leaving a May 9 start against the Diamondbacks with right-side tightness. His pitch count was limited in his four subsequent starts.
When he has been on the mound, the two-time Cy Young Award winner has been utterly brilliant. He has an ERA of 0.54, the lowest ever through 11 starts. He has driven in six runs, two more than the number of earned runs he has allowed (four). He also has struck out 111 in 67 innings. The only thing standing in his way has been his health.