The New York Mets had one good thing going for them this year-Jacob deGrom. Now, as seems to be the norm for the Mets in recent years, the young pitcher is headed to the disabled list. After some struggles following his initial call up, including a 1-5 record, deGrom had really settled in and had thrown 6 straight quality starts, winning five of them, improving to 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA.
The injury has been reported as shoulder tendonitis but will avoid any significant treatment. He will simply get extra rest while his shoulder heals itself. deGrom reported the injury to the training staff on his own after feeling unusual soreness following his start on August 7. He has been quoted as saying that he already feels better and that the injury is not too serious. deGrom should be back in the rotation after 15 days.
This does serve as a blessing in disguise for the Mets. deGrom has thrown 100.1 innings in the majors this season along with 38.1 in the minor leagues for a total of 139.2. The Mets had expressed interest in limiting deGrom to around 185 innings meaning he would’ve had to miss starts down the stretch anyway. Better for him to miss now than down the stretch in September.
deGrom’s place in the rotation will be taken by Rafael Montero, who will be making his second trip to the major leagues this season. He is 0-2 with an ERA above 5 but he did have one impressive outing against Arizona where he went 7 innings allowing one run and striking out 10. Montero had turned in two very impressive outings with Las Vegas prior to his call up giving him the edge over Noah Syndergaard. Montero’s Triple-A numbers are fairly impressive 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA in a hitter friendly Pacific Coast League, though he did miss some time with an oblique injury.
deGrom has slowly moved into the discussion, at least among New York media members, for National League Rookie of the Year as there hasn’t been anyone to run away with it a la Jose Abreu in the AL. The Mets certainly hope he continues to pitch well when he returns and it’s likely that moving him to the DL is an overcautious but wise approach.
Montero could see this as a chance to make a better impression than he did in his first four starts. Montero hopes, and is presumed to be, a big piece for the Mets’ future and has been a highly talked about prospect for a few years now. It remains to be seen what will happen when deGrom returns, as there have been rumors of Montero moving to the bullpen, but the rosters do expand in September meaning we should be seeing plenty more of Rafael Montero over the next month and a half.
If Montero can perform well in place of deGrom the Mets can feel very confident about their pitching both down the stretch this season as well as going forward. The Mets have loads of pitching depth with deGrom’s emergence as well as Zack Wheeler settling in, Matt Harvey on the mend and Montero and Syndergaard waiting in the wings to go with veterans Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon.
The Mets team as well as fans will eagerly await deGrom’s return to see how he closes his rookie season.