Jacob deGrom threw from 135 feet on Friday at Citi Field, and when he spoke to the media about it on Saturday afternoon, he said something incredibly encouraging: “I feel completely normal.”
“Everything feels good, and I feel completely normal, so I think that’s where it’s going to be, like, ‘Do we push it? Do we not?’” he said. “So, that will be the discussion over the next few days, and when we get on the mound, what is the safest way to go about this?”
According to his latest scans, the stress reaction in his scapula is “completely healed,” so he has no apprehension about ramping up.
“After talking to doctors, normally bone heals stronger, and the last report was that it was good and completely healed,” deGrom said. “Now it’s about making sure it handles the throwing, and nothing pops up, but the way it’s gone so far, I feel great.”
How quickly, and how much, he ramps up, though, is TBD, because deGrom is taking his rehab one day at a time and sticking to the plan.
“I haven’t gone too far ahead. I’m not exactly sure when I’m supposed to touch the mound, but so far everything felt good, all of the distances that I’ve supposed to have gotten to,” he said. “I haven’t really asked them the exact date that I’m going to throw off the mound, but it’s just checking off each of these boxes along the way, and like I said, everything’s felt good. So, I’m sure that’s going to be a discussion in the next couple of days of when we go off the mound.”
The righty was shut down at the end of March due to the stress reaction, which he said he didn’t really feel even just a couple weeks into his shutdown, but he wasn’t taking any chances then, either.
“A couple of weeks after I did it, it started feeling pretty normal,” deGrom said. “I didn’t really notice it with everyday activity, and then that was kind of where you really had to be careful with not trying to do too much because you don’t want to stress the bone. You want to make sure it healed properly. That was where we were at, but a couple of weeks after I did it I felt really good.”
Jon Heyman has reported that the Mets are targeting a late-June return for deGrom, and while he's not quite starting from zero, he likely has to go through as much of a “full spring training” as anyone else. If he can start throwing off a mound soon, though, and build up quickly, anything is possible.
And, as with a lot of other teams’ starters during this year with a truncated spring, there’s a chance deGrom could finish stretching out as it were in the Majors.
“You would assume that you’d probably get four innings in a rehab start where you can come up here and hope to go five or six,” he said, “but haven’t discussed that with them yet.”
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