New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is hoping his inflamed right lat will improve enough to allow him to make his next start this coming weekend. DeGrom was scratched not long before his scheduled start against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday with what was characterized at the time as "right side tightness."
A subsequent MRI revealed inflammation in the lat muscle. According to the Associated Press, manager Luis Rojas says deGrom is now scheduled a throwing session on Thursday and a bullpen on Friday. If all goes well he'll be cleared to start Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"Feeling good now," deGrom told reporters Wednesday. "The plan to see the doctor again tomorrow and let him re-evaluate," deGrom said. "It's in a good spot, I guess. If it kind of creeps up towards the armpit, then it's not good, but the spot it's in is definitely manageable."
Through deGrom's first five starts this season, he had been in the midst of a historic run. He'd accumulated a 0.51 ERA (758 ERA+) and a 14.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio while averaging seven innings per outing. Put another way, deGrom had struck out 59 batters in 35 innings, all the while permitting 20 combined hits and walks. The Mets are, remarkably, just 2-3 in his starts because of their inability to provide him with any kind of meaningful run support. (They've been shut out in two of those contests.)
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Thus far, deGrom has missed only one start, and if he remains on target for a Sunday return then he can avoid a stint on the injured list. If, however, he suffers a setback or shows a lack of progress on Thursday or Friday, then a roster move may prove necessary.
David Samson broke down deGrom's injury on the latest Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:
Jordan Yamamoto, who was recalled from Triple-A on Wednesday, would seem to be the favorite to take deGrom's place in the rotation should he need to miss additional time. Under the rules, the Mets can backdate an IL stint to the day after the player's last appearance. In deGrom's case, that would mean April 29.