BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
(Photo credit: Eric Espada/Getty Images)
It’s going to be a full season soon that we have seen Jacob deGrom pitched. He has been on the injured list while collecting his money. Nice job if anyone can get it.
When Mets.com writer Anthony DiComo tweeted Tuesday the Mets pushed back deGrom’s simulated game after he experienced mild muscle soreness around his shoulder on Sunday, there was consternation from Mets fans on Twitter about here we go again.
They are tired of hearing deGrom looks so good just to see him get hurt again. They have every right to be concerned about him after being let down often lately. This isn’t overreaction when it’s the same scene that plays out.
It’s one thing or another with deGrom, and it’s getting old. It’s either the Mets need to stop babying him or he needs to pitch through an injury. He’s never going to be 100% ever. If he gets hurt again while pitching in a game, so be it. But for him to be scared to pitch, it’s hard to take him seriously about his competitive drive for winning.
The Mets ace has always done everything right since the day he got to the majors. It seems so strange to see what’s going on with him. Something is not right. This is the third time now we are seeing him having a setback after he is close to coming all the way to back. It’s surprising.
No one can blame the Mets and their fans for being frustrated with deGrom. They get their hopes up just to see this again. It gets tiring.
If deGrom wants to opt out of his contract and he seems hellbent on doing so, he needs to pitch now and not worry about his health or his future. No team is going to pay him what he wants when he is on the injured list as often as Yankee bust Carl Pavano was.
It’s going to be hard to sympathize with deGrom when things keep happening with him. He is the one that wants to go all in by throwing 100 mph in rehab starts. If he wants to do that, that’s fine, but then he better be ready to pitch as soon as he is clear to go. Enough babying him. Enough coddling him.
What message is he sending to his teammates and his employer when the same thing happens to him time after time? How is it Max Scherzer worked so hard to get back as soon as possible yet it has been a struggle for deGrom? These are questions Mets fans have every right to ask. Even the Mets should feel that way.
The bottom line is deGrom is starting to get a reputation that he does not want to pitch hurt. He is never going to be 100 percent. If he gets hurt, so be it? He can’t go out there and be scared about getting hurt again.
Say what you want about Matt Harvey, but he pitched through pain. He was out there for the Mets in the 2015 postseason despite having Tommy John surgery. He wanted the spotlight, and he knew he couldn’t blow that opportunity since it does not present itself often. He sacrificed his career by wanting to lead the Mets to a championship.
deGrom has to do the same. The Mets can win it all this year. They got the starting rotation to match up with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros and Yankees. It comes with a caveat of course. The Mets need their ace, so that he and Scherzer can form that duo that can be tough to beat, not to mention they can make Taijuan Walker, Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco as good glue guys rather than be the guy to start Games 2 and 3. It’s up to him for the Mets to fulfill their vision.
If Scherzer can come right back after spending time on the injured list, so can deGrom. He needs to want it. His teammates played well all year. For them to show their competitive spirit not to see deGrom not wanting to come back, it’s a bad look on him. He owes it to his teammates to come back more than anything.
It’s risky to criticize injured players, but when is the same thing that is going on with deGrom, it creates bad optics right there. His actions should make the Mets and their fans wonder does he really want to be back.
Only deGrom knows how much he hurts. But when he looks good in two rehab outings and when it’s go time, something happens, it raises questions. He looked like he has been in good shape when he has been out there.
His actions raise questions. It makes one wonder if maybe it’s time for him to move on after this season, even if he comes back.
All of this will be forgotten if he comes back and pitches well and does not miss a beat.
Right now, the Mets would settle for him to make a start in a big league game.
Is that too much to ask from him?
This writer can be reached on Twitter at: @LeslieMonteiro6
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