The Mets have been without Jacob deGrom all season, although the club has maintained he’s progressing well in his recovery from a Spring Training stress reaction in his scapula. deGrom has been throwing off flat ground for a couple weeks, and Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News tweeted yesterday that he’s lengthened out to throwing from 95-100 feet.
More encouragingly, Thosar suggests the star right-hander could progress to throwing a bullpen session by this weekend. That’d mark a notable step in his recovery, although he’ll presumably need multiple mound sessions before he progresses to facing live hitters. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com wrote last week that deGrom is also expected to require three-to-five rehab starts in the minor leagues before returning to the majors.
There are still significant hurdles before deGrom will be back in a game at Citi Field, but he continues to make incremental strides. Jon Heyman of the New York Post said on yesterday’s The Show podcast with colleague Joel Sherman that he’d heard a “late June” potential timetable for deGrom’s return to the big leagues from a team source (Mets’ talk around 34:00 mark). Even if his rehab lingers a bit beyond then, the organization is surely hopeful the two-time Cy Young winner will be healthy for the second half of the season.
The Mets are also down Max Scherzer and Tylor Megill, leaving them to rely on their rotation depth. Scherzer isn’t likely to be back before the All-Star Break, while Megill has been out since May 15 because of biceps inflammation. Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner suggested Megill’s further along in his recovery than deGrom (Thosar link), but he’s not yet thrown a bullpen session and certainly won’t be ready to return when first eligible on Friday.
While the rotation has taken some key hits, the position player group has been healthy aside from catcher James McCann (out through late June because of a hand fracture). Second baseman/left fielder Jeff McNeil is now day-to-day after crashing into the wall chasing a fly ball this afternoon. Mike Puma of the Post was among those to relay (on Twitter) that he’s been diagnosed with a left knee contusion.
The subject of some trade speculation over the winter, the lefty-hitting McNeil is rewarding the organization’s decision to keep him in Flushing. Across 170 plate appearances, he’s hitting .323/.376/.458 with a minuscule 10% strikeout rate. McNeil only has two home runs, but he’s among the top 25 qualified hitters in both batting average and on-base percentage.