It’s not yet clear whether this issue will jeopardize deGrom’s chances of taking the ball for the Mets when their season opens July 24. As Tim Britton of The Athletic points out, though, back tightness did prevent deGrom from making an Opening Day start in 2018.
If the Mets are going to break their three-year playoff drought in 2020, it stands to reason they’ll need a healthy deGrom continuing to lead their pitching staff. The 32-year-old is irreplaceable, having won back-to-back National League Cy Youngs and consistently provided front-line production since he debuted in the majors in 2014. He fired 204 innings of 2.43 ERA/2.67 FIP ball with 11.25 K/9 and 1.94 BB/9 last year.
Of course, with righty Noah Syndergaard out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, deGrom is all the more important to the Mets’ cause. Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, Steven Matz and Michael Wacha are slated to make up the rest of what should be a solid rotation if healthy, but the Mets’ depth looks questionable (Walker Lockett and Corey Oswalt may be first in line for starts in the event of an injury).