Mets ace Jacob deGrom may make season debut 'a few weeks' before August trade deadline
The first-place New York Mets were already without injured starting pitchers Tylor Megill, Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom when veteran right-hander Carlos Carrasco exited Wednesday's start at the Houston Astros with lower back tightness.
Megill (right shoulder strain) is reportedly shut down from throwing for at least another three weeks, and Carrasco's status wasn't known as of early Thursday afternoon. It's hoped, however, that Scherzer will return to the big-league rotation this Sunday after an oblique strain sidelined him following his last start on May 18.
A report from earlier this week said that deGrom, who hasn't pitched this season because of a stress reaction in the scapula of his pitching shoulder, could potentially log his first start of the campaign "around the All-Star break" next month. SNY's Andy Martino explained on Thursday that "Mets people are hoping" deGrom "will be back in the big leagues a few weeks ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline, giving them a chance to evaluate whether a pitcher who has not pitched in more than a year can make a meaningful contribution in 2022."
The two-time Cy Young Award winner hasn't taken the bump for a meaningful game since July 7, 2021, and he missed the second half of last season because of lingering elbow issues.
A different SNY piece noted that "deGrom is expected to need perhaps three or four" rehab starts that could stretch his assignment across multiple weeks because he's been a spectator for so long. He faced live hitters earlier this week for the first time since he experienced his setback late in spring training.