Mets ace Jacob deGrom has been dealing with tightness in his right forearm and has been shut down until the discomfort subsides. Manager Luis Rojas told Deesha Thosar of The New York Daily News (Twitter
links), SNY’s Steve Gelbs, and other reporters say that an MRI didn’t reveal any structural damage to deGrom’s forearm.
The problem existed before the All-Star break, as Rojas said deGrom felt tightness while throwing a bullpen session last weekend. The forearm tightness continued during a side session on Friday, so the Mets opted to halt deGrom’s throwing so further testing could be done. No mention was made of the injured list, although an IL stint seems inevitable considering that the Mets will surely take every precaution in making sure deGrom is fully healthy.
DeGrom has already hit the IL once this season, missing two weeks due to tightness in his right side. Despite that missed time and other nagging injuries, the right-hander is in the midst of his most spectacular season yet, with a record-challenging 1.08 ERA over 92 innings and a wealth of league-leading numbers in most major categories (14.3 K/9, 13.27 K/BB rate, 1.1 BB/9, and an absurd 365 ERA+).
Losing deGrom for any amount of time would be a major blow to a Mets team hanging onto first place in the NL East, and the specter of a long-term forearm injury would be nothing short of devastating. DeGrom has a Tommy John surgery on his record, as he underwent the procedure just a few months after the Mets selected him in the ninth round of the 2010 draft. The major surgery and a few other lesser arm problems over the years didn’t stop deGrom from becoming arguably the best pitcher of his generation, winning NL Cy Young Awards in 2018-19 and looking to be on track for a third this season.
There is no way to actually replace deGrom in the event of a longer-term absence, and the task will be even more difficult for a Mets team that was already looking to add some rotation help at the trade deadline. The trio of deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker has been excellent, while the back end of the rotation has been a revolving door thanks to injuries and underperformance. The Mets are hopeful that Carlos Carrasco will be able to make his Mets debut soon, and rookie Tylor Megill has started his career off with a 3.50 ERA in 18 innings, perhaps earning a longer look if New York can’t find a more experienced option on the trade market.