After setting a new spending record and adding numerous new quality players to their roster, the Mets had high expectations heading into the 2022 season. The star pitchers Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, who were meant to be the leaders of what was supposed to be one of the finest starting rotations in baseball, were maybe the most significant factor in that outcome.
However, the Mets are in disarray only six days before their season-opening game in Washington on April 7 — an assignment that was expected to go to deGrom, a two-time Cy Young Award winner. The Mets announced on Friday that their ace pitcher, Jacob deGrom, would miss the whole month of April due to soreness in his pitching shoulder, which was discovered the previous day.
According to the results of a magnetic resonance imaging scan performed on Friday morning, his right shoulder blade has suffered from a stress response (which is considered the precursor to a stress fracture) that has resulted in inflammation. As a result, the Mets have said that deGrom will not be able to throw for up to four weeks and will then undergo another MRI.
This is a vital moment for the Mets, as well as for DeGrom, who is suffering from a hamstring issue. The National League Cy Young Award winner in 2018 and 2019, deGrom looks to be on course to win another in 2021 after winning the award in both 2018 and 2019. Nonetheless, after lowering his earned run average to 1.08 over 92 innings by July, deGrom was sidelined for the final three months of the season due to a right elbow injury. This was a frightening prospect for any pitcher, but especially for one who had Tommy John surgery in 2010 and a separate surgery to repair nerve damage to his elbow in 2016.
DeGrom, 33, reported to spring training healthy and, clearly with the goal of having a dominant season, announced that he intended to exercise the opt-out clause in his five-year, $137.5 million contract extension that allowed him to opt out after the 2022 season. DeGrom has been a dominant force in the majors since joining the Mets in 2013.
When asked how much time he anticipated deGrom would miss, Eppler said that it was difficult to predict and that the timing relied on deGrom’s recovery. Eppler predicted that deGrom would feel better in less than four weeks, but based on the results of the M.R.I., he believed that a month would be an acceptable amount of time to wait before conducting another procedure.
If deGrom were to return to the mound in four weeks, he would still have to work on getting back into game condition. Starting pitchers are advised that every week missed necessitates the development of a new week’s worth of arm and body strength, which means deGrom may be looking at a recovery period of at least two months.
Stress responses in the throwing shoulder have already plagued other pitchers, like Michael Wacha and Brandon McCarthy, who have both had them on many occasions. After hearing the news of deGrom’s injury, McCarthy took to Twitter to express his disappointment, writing.
Eppler said that deGrom’s ailment grew gradually over time and that physicians determined that the remainder of the pitcher’s shoulder was in good condition as a result. Both he and Mets manager Buck Showalter stated they have no idea if deGrom’s injury was caused by the team’s delayed and shortened spring training this year.
The Mets signed three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, 37, to a record three-year, $130 million contract this winter. Although Scherzer appeared to be the obvious choice to replace deGrom on opening day, Showalter said he wanted to consult with other members of the front office before making a decision.
Tylor Megill, David Peterson, and Trevor Williams are three of the less proven candidates to fill the void in the rotation that has opened up. Eppler expressed satisfaction with the depth of the Mets’ rotation that had already been established. Besides Scherzer, the Mets have experienced pitchers Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, and Chris Bassitt in their rotation, all of whom were acquired in a deal with the Nationals earlier this month.