|Jacob deGrom at spring training. @Mets.|
The Mets released some sobering news on Friday afternoon, that their ace pitcher, Jacob deGrom, would miss his Opening Day start, and possibly several weeks after that.
"Jake underwent an MRI today that revealed a stress reaction on his scapula that has caused inflammation in the area," the Mets statement read. "The immediate prescription is for Jake to discontinue throwing for up to 4 weeks and then reimage the area. At that time, we'll update the plan of care."
This comes after deGrom missed the reminder of last season after being diagnosed with right elbow inflammation in early July. At that point, he was amidst an incredible season, in which he had a 7-2 record with a 1.02 ERA in 15 starts, with with an astonishing 146 strikeouts in 92 innings, with a 0.55 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched.
His recovery from the injury could have been hampered by the Major League Baseball lockout, which ran from December 2 to March 10. Teams could not be in contact with their players for any, even to discuss progress on recovery from injuries. The fact that the lockout dragged into March shaved a month off spring training, so the accelerated timeline didn't help deGrom in building back his arm strength.
This is heartbreaking for the Mets, as they dreamed of opening the season with one of the best 1-2 punches in baseball history, with deGrom, a two-time Cy Young Award winner (2018 & '19), and newly-signed Max Scherzer, who has three Cy Youngs (2013, '16, '17), anchoring the rotation.
The Mets also recently acquired all-star right-hander Bassitt from the Oakland Athletics, so he will likely be the second arm in the rotation while deGrom is out. Bassitt went 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA (55 earned runs in 157.1 innings) and 159 strikeouts in 27 starts.
Rounding out the deep rotation should be Taijuan Walker, who was an All-Star last season before a tough second half left him with a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA; Carlos Carrasco, who pitched in 12 games last season after he struggled to get healthy; and Tyler Megill, who went 4-6 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 starts, with 99 strikeouts, and allowed 88 hits, 46 runs (45 earned), 27 walks, and 19 home runs.