After getting off to a historical start on the mound in 2021, Jacob deGrom's Cy-Young worthy campaign has been prematurely derailed by a slew of different injuries.
And with the Mets' playoff hopes rapidly slipping away, the team is leaning towards shutting down deGrom (right elbow inflammation) for the rest of the season, a source tells Inside the Mets.
The current expectation is that deGrom will not pitch again this year, and although the Mets are still holding out slight hope, there is about a "99.9%" chance that he won't return, per source.
The Mets do not want to push their prized arm into rushing back, especially since they are on the verge of non-contention, having gone 12-20 since the All-Star break to fall below .500, as well as 4.5 games back in the NL East.
They are looking at things from both a short and long-term approach, and even if they do find themselves back in the race for the division by September, it would be difficult for deGrom to make it back in time for the stretch run after his latest setback. The Mets are also not confident that deGrom's elbow inflammation will be healed enough to resume throwing by August 27, at the end of this current two week period, which would ultimately land him on the shelf for the rest of the year anyway.
DeGrom has been shutdown with right elbow inflammation since July 30, which they discovered after he was placed on the injured list with what was initially being called right forearm tightness two weeks prior (July 16).
Following his first setback, the plan was for deGrom to cease throwing for two weeks until August 13, before getting another MRI to see if the inflammation had subsided in order to resume baseball activities again. Unfortunately, it was revealed last Friday that deGrom would need an additional two weeks, after traveling to Los Angeles to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
While ElAttrache, who is one of the top elbow surgeons in the country, said deGrom was improving, he advised him to rest for an additional two weeks, to bring his shutdown to a total of one full month.
The Mets were originally hoping deGrom could make it back by early-September if all went well after his second MRI. And while there is no structural damage to his elbow, his current setback would put him at a mid-to-late September return, which would be the best case-scenario if the inflammation were to go away. But that is a big "if" at this point.
The Amazins' began a brutal 13-game stretch against the Dodgers and Giants, which has seen them go 0-5, to dip under .500. And the bad news is, they still have eight games in a row remaining with these two NL West powerhouses.
At the moment, their hopes to win the NL East look bleaker than ever. And that is why they are expected to make the rational decision to shut down deGrom for the remainder of the year.
DeGrom has not pitched since July 7 before the All-Star break against the Brewers. The 33-year-old held a 7-2 record, with a 1.08 ERA, 0.55 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 92 innings (15 starts) this season.