BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
(Photo credit: Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
You do not need to be a doctor or journalist to read between the lines on how the Mets are going to use Jacob deGrom.
The Mets did not give a specific date when their ace would be back from the injured list. All they said is that he is going to start throwing soon. Since he is not throwing, it’s a waste of time to even know what to expect or predict when he will come back.
This would be the right tact to take since no one knows how his rehab goes. There should be no guarantees because injuries are tricky.
Here’s what the Mets want to do with deGrom: They want to activate him off the injured list in August and hope for the best there. The idea is for him to start enough games to get ready for the postseason. Giving him enough starts with a few games to go in the regular season would be a payoff for him to pitch in the postseason.
It’s a smart move since the Mets have done well without him. Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carassco and Taijuan Walker performed well enough to overcome his loss for a few months. There’s no need to rush when the Mets have an eight-game lead with a quarter of the season already in the books.
Right now, the idea is to get him healthy and ready for the stretch run and in October. For the Mets to win a championship, they are going to need him to be at his best. By rushing him too soon, he could risk himself another injury that could have him out for the season. It’s also in good conscience the Mets listen to the doctors and be careful about his health.
After deGrom suffered several injuries last season and now this season, it makes sense to be careful with him.
There has not been much outrage by Mets fans about how the team will use him since they understand the big picture. Again, it helps the Mets just keep winning without him, so it’s easy for them to have a better perspective on this.
Now there’s no guarantee if this strategy works. deGrom can still be hurt in August. He already has proven now that he is injury-prone as of late. With the way he exerts his body when he pitches, he is susceptible to getting hurt every time by aggravating his shoulder.
I wouldn’t put much hope on deGrom being a contributor to the Mets this season. The Mets have to be thinking that way, too. At this point, if he pitches, it would be a bonus.
Right now, the Mets have to be hoping for the best when it comes to deGrom. Letting him take his time gives him less of a chance to risk further injury before he can get started.
The Mets have been known to rush guys from injuries for way too long, and it resulted in guys having short careers and being unproductive. At times, they have been irresponsible. Who can remember them playing Ryan Church while he had a concussion?
The Mets are doing the smart thing by being protective of deGrom’s health. It should be the player’s health first in all ways in sports. Great organizations do what’s best for the player. For a change, the Mets are doing that, which is a refreshing change from the Wilpons.
deGrom hasn’t pitched since July 7 last year. It’s understandable why the Mets don’t want to have another screwup with him.
It’s the best scenario for the Mets to hope deGrom can be good and ready in August. This is the best scenario the team hopes for.
The other alternative would be that deGrom does not pitch this season, and there’s a good chance that it may happen. Right now, expecting their star to pitch in late July or August is an ideal scenario. No one really knows when he is pitching. Not even the Mets. Not even him.
deGrom throwing really does not do much. When he makes his rehab start, go ahead and think about the scenario of when he is coming back.
Until then, maybe it’s pointless to even think about him. It’s speculation at best when he is going to pitch.