Mets Rumors: Jacob deGrom Could Return from Shoulder Injury in Late June

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - MARCH 27: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets warms up before the start of the Spring Training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Clover Park on March 27, 2022 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Jacob deGrom hasn't pitched yet this season because of a shoulder injury, but he could make his debut ahead of the All-Star break.

"Somebody with the Mets told me late June. To me, that seemed optimistic," Jon Heyman of the New York Post said on The Show podcast with Joel Sherman. "I'm looking at July."

DeGrom isn't the only ace sidelined for the Mets, as Max Scherzer is also out six-to-eight weeks with an oblique strain.

That means both could return around the All-Star break, which could set New York up for quite the second-half run. It also means the team needs to tread water in the meantime, but its scorching start gives it plenty of cushion to do so.

The 29-15 Mets are eight games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East.

Even if they play .500 baseball while deGrom and Scherzer are sidelined, they will still be in ideal position to win the division and set their rotation up for a postseason run. Keeping the pair of right-handers healthy in October is far more important than rushing them back in June considering they could immediately put the Mets up 2-0 in any playoff series.

Recent health concerns are nothing new for deGrom, who made just 15 starts last year after starting at least 30 games in four of the previous five full seasons. He also made 12 starts in the shortened 60-game 2020 campaign.

He was a back-to-back NL Cy Young winner in 2018 and 2019 and has a sparkling career ERA of 2.50 to go with a 1.01 WHP.

If he and three-time Cy Young winner Scherzer are atop New York's rotation for the entire second half of the season, the Mets could run away with the division.