Although Jacob deGrom (right elbow inflammation) was cleared to resume playing catch on Wednesday, the chance of him making it back to the Mets during the regular season is still unlikely.
DeGrom has dealt with six different injuries in his 2021 campaign and has not pitched in a game since July 7.
According to a source, the Mets are taking it very slow with their prized arm and are unsure of how long it will take to ramp him up given how much time he has missed.
As the source also noted, whether the team goes on a run in the final 35 games to get back in the playoff race or not, deGrom is too important of a piece to rush back and the Mets do not intend on speeding up his process, as much as they'd like to have him back for a possible postseason push and/or berth.
If he does in fact miss the rest of the season, there is also a chance that he could still potentially throw a simulated game ahead of the offseason. This would be so both deGrom and the Mets can see where he is at, before the start of next year.
The bottom line is, deGrom will only pitch again if and when he is ready and 100% healthy. At the moment, the Mets are taking things as if deGrom is starting up spring training again. And as most individuals know, it typically takes pitchers a total of 4-6 weeks to prepare themselves for the regular season, which is just another factor that is working against the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
As Inside the Mets reported last week, the expectation is that deGrom is 99.9% out for the rest of the season. And despite getting the green light to play catch, the clock is working against him and the margin of hope that he can make it back to the mound for the Mets by the end of September is very thin.
Prior to dealing with right forearm tightness that turned into right elbow inflammation, deGrom was having a historic season with a 1.08 ERA, a 0.55 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 92 innings (15 starts).
Whether deGrom comes back this year or not, he was once on pace to have one of the best-single seasons for a pitcher in baseball history. But unfortunately, he was robbed of finishing what he started due to a slew of injuries.