NEW YORK (AP) Jacob deGrom approached Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen in the dugout Friday night.
''So how's Tuesday looking? I said it to him a few times,'' the NL Rookie of the Year recalled. ''He kept saying, `We'll see. We'll see.'''
Concerned about a late-season slump in the 27-year-old right-hander's first full big league season, Mets manager Terry Collins said deGrom won't start against Atlanta next week and could have his rotation turn skipped.
''So I guess we've seen now,'' deGrom said with a smile before Saturday's 5-0 loss to the Mets.
The personable pitcher whose shaggy shoulder-length locks prompted a (hash)HairWeGo promotion campaign, is 13-8 with a 2.64 ERA in 28 starts this year, including 1-2 with a 6.41 ERA and a .330 opponents' batting average in his past five outings.
''The location of his pitches is not what it needs to be,'' Collins said. ''This guy became extremely successful because of the sink with his fastball, where he got ground balls, and right now he's getting fly balls `cause everything seems to be moving up.''
While deGrom's fastball averages 96 mph, Collins is concerned about the pitcher's release point.
''I've been more up in the zone than I want to be,'' deGrom said. ''Normally I pitch down and then go up when I want to.''
New York has limited the innings of Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard, but deGrom doesn't have any such restrictions.
He didn't pitch between Aug. 7 and 23 last year because of tendinitis in his right rotator cuff. When he returned, he went 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA in six starts.
''I felt really good after that. I think I needed that time last year. There was some shoulder fatigue going on there,'' deGrom said. ''But this year I feel fine.''
Logan Verrett, a 25-year-old rookie right-hander who has made two spot starts when Harvey was skipped, will take deGrom's place Tuesday against Atlanta. Collins said results against the Yankees this weekend will help determine whether deGrom is pushed back or skipped.
''It can't hurt,'' deGrom said. ''That's what they chose to do, so that's what we're going to do.''