Jacob deGrom has had to live most of his career with little run support from his New York teammates. Now, the Mets will have to survive without deGrom for a while, as the two-time Cy Young Award winner will do a stint on the injured list due to “right side discomfort.”
The Mets assigned deGrom to the 10-day IL, meaning he will be eligible to return to action on May 21.
Mets being cautious with ace
That means deGrom might miss only one start. The ace left Sunday’s game after warming up before the sixth inning, and after giving up one run over five innings. deGrom would go on to earn the win as the Mets beat the Diamondbacks, 4-2.
This is the second time in a month that deGrom will miss time due to apparent soreness on his right side. Earlier in May, the Mets shut deGrom down for a few days due to inflammation in his right lat. That cost him one scheduled start. Sunday’s start was his first appearance since skipping that appearance.
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 10, 2021
The Mets announced Monday that an MRI was “clean of any issues,” suggesting that deGrom hasn’t suffered any structural damage.
“We don’t try to force anything here, knowing that there’s something going on,” Mets manager Luis Rojas told reporters on Sunday. “We always try to make sure that our guys are everything free – tightness-free, soreness-free, everything.”
Still, New York can’t afford to have any problems with deGrom. The 32-year-old is 3-2 with a 0.68 ERA so far this year. Despite missing a start, he ranks second in the National League with 65 strikeouts.
deGrom competing for Cy Young, MVP honors
deGrom stands as -135 favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award this year, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. He has also thrown himself into the MVP race, a rarity for a starting pitcher. He sits as the +750 second choice behind Ronald Acuna (+270) for that honor.
While deGrom’s pitching prowess would be enough for him to earn some MVP consideration, his chances have been bolstered by a hot start at the plate as well. He’s started the year 7-for-15 at the plate with two RBIs and a 1.000 OPS – a minor factor for a pitcher, but one that could potentially make the difference in a close MVP race should he continue to hit well throughout the season.
A long stint on the IL could end deGrom’s MVP hopes and damage his Cy Young chances. While deGrom has proven himself to be a durable pitcher over the course of his career, he has suffered mild back issues from time to time. He has avoided long absences, however, only landing on the IL three times for short stints and throwing 529 innings since 2018.