Mets' Jacob deGrom to Return from IL on Tuesday After Side, Back Injuries

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 23, 2021

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) leaves the field during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, May 9, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The New York Mets announced Sunday ace Jacob deGrom will return Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies after being sidelined by tightness in his right side and lower back. 

DeGrom last pitched in the majors May 9 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The two-time Cy Young winner didn't miss a beat to begin the 2021 season. Through six starts, he had a 0.68 ERA and 65 strikeouts through 40 innings on the mound.

DeGrom then landed on the injured list, however, with right side discomfort. While the situation could have been far worse, it elicited fear surrounding the right-hander's long-term health given how much stress he places on his throwing arm.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Entering Sunday, Jacob deGrom has thrown 37 pitches over 100 mph, the most by a starting pitcher this season. The next highest total by a starter is Shohei Ohtani with 8. https://t.co/aKhOyBjli5

Marcus Stroman has returned to form in 2021, while Taijuan Walker is bouncing back nicely after a pair of forgettable seasons following Tommy John surgery. But there simply isn't another pitcher in MLB who can do what deGrom can on his best day.

The firing of hitting coaches Chili Davis and Tom Slater was emblematic of a start that wasn't up to the front office's expectations. The ink was barely dry on Francisco Lindor's 10-year, $341 million extension before he began hearing criticism from fans.

Steve Cohen's purchase of the franchise from the Wilpon family was supposed to signal a new dawn.

The Mets, who sit atop the NL East with a 21-18 record, will hope deGrom's return is a positive step in that direction.