Although Jacob deGrom feels fine after his arm scare last week, the New York Mets placed him on the disabled list. Here is why that is the right call.
"“He is experiencing nothing it all. Jacob wanted to go out there and pitch tomorrow. … The more and more we thought about it, it just wasn’t worth the risk.”"
deGrom injured his pitching elbow at the plate Wednesday afternoon in the third inning against Atlanta. He swung, winced and started the fourth inning before Callaway and the training staff collected him.
As the Mets come back to the rest of the National League East after an incredible start, deGrom has emerged as the staff ace. Throwing slightly ahead of fireballer Noah Syndergaard.
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In seven starts, deGrom is 3-0 with a 1.87 ERA, currently ranking fourth in the NL. Over 43.1 innings, he has scattered 32 hits and 11 walks for a 0.992 WHIP and 6.6 H/9 rate. His 54 strikeouts are third in the league.
Although the Mets are struggling, losers of five straight heading into Sunday, they are in the thick of a tight four-way race in the NL East. The Washington Nationals awoke from their April slumber and are at .500 again at 17-17. Atlanta and Philadelphia made huge strides early and are in 1st and second place, respectively.
If the Mets want to stay in the chase for a division title or a Wild Card spot, they need deGrom healthy. Yes, Syndergaard can strikeout batters by the truckload, but deGrom is a complete pitcher who can do more than fan batters.
With Matt Harvey designated for assignment, there is not a short-term answer for the starting rotation. If deGrom misses this one expected start—remember, the Mets can backdate his entry on the 10-day disabled list back to Thursday—then they will be fine.
The last place Reds are tailor-made for a “Johnny Wholestaff” night provided the game stays a nine-inning affair. P.J. Conlon will make the start. He will make his MLB debut. Jason Vargas, who has struggled, and Zack Wheeler are the other two starters penciled in for Cincinnati.
However, if deGrom’s problems linger, New York is in trouble. Steven Matz’s health is a constant concern and Harvey, for many reasons, is gone. Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman could stretch out to start, but that is not he ideal solution for a team hoping to contend.
For Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets, they need Callaway to be right.