LOS ANGELES — In a change of publicly stated plans, Jacob deGrom is continuing his rehab back in New York rather than with the Mets on their tour of Southern California.
DeGrom (right scapula stress reaction) did not join the Mets for their 10-game, 11-day road trip against the Dodgers, Padres and Angels that began on Thursday. On May 27, Mets manager Buck Showalter had said definitively that deGrom was going to travel with the team. A week later, the skipper indicated deGrom will hang back in New York for the entirety of their trip.
“He’s in New York,” Showalter said Thursday at Dodger Stadium. “Just felt like it was better that he worked there. They’re equipped to handle what his needs are. Obviously Jake is a priority for those guys back there. He’ll stay back and get his work done there for the time being.”
Earlier last month, Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner said he would like to be around deGrom, supervising him, as his rehab ramped up to mound-work and bullpens. But on Thursday, Showalter indicated the Mets staff already has enough on its plate managing a 26-man roster, plus a three-man taxi squad, during their long west coast trip.
The Mets ace, who is on the 60-day injured list, is still throwing off flat ground at Citi Field. He has yet to throw off the mound, and Showalter said it’s possible he will do so while the team and Hefner are away from Queens. After getting on a mound and throwing bullpens, the next step for deGrom will be throwing live batting practice. Afterwards, the final hurdle will be ramping up his pitch count in rehab outings. That last step does not appear to be particularly close.
“The right decision is, it’s better for him to get his work done there,” Showalter said. “Just a lot better equipped and manpower and the things that are going on that he needs to get done.”
Tylor Megill (right biceps tendinitis) is working his way back to the rotation after throwing a live batting practice on Tuesday at Citi Field. He is scheduled for a normal work day on Friday, after which the Mets are looking forward to learning how he’s feeling following the added workload and returning to a routine. If Megill’s arm feels good on Saturday, he will receive the green light for a rehab start, likely with nearby High-A Brooklyn.
Max Scherzer (moderate-high grade oblique strain) is also progressing with his rehab as expected, according to Showalter. Though the skipper refrained from going into detail on his exact rehab schedule, which is taking place in Florida, Showalter did crack some jokes about Scherzer’s widely-known competitive attitude.
“He’s doing fine. Who knows what he’s doing away from the field,” Showalter said. “He’s probably had four or five sides by now. He’s probably got the whole neighborhood hitting off of him.”
Officially, Showalter said Scherzer’s rehab is, “Where it’s supposed to be. Right in the timeline where those things usually run.”
James McCann (left hamate surgery) is not hitting yet, but he is scheduled to begin doing so in the coming days. McCann got the stitches out of his hand earlier this week, which was the last hurdle holding him back from getting back in the cage, or at the very least, hitting off the tee.
The Mets entered their 10-game Southern California road trip on Thursday with some pretty powerful numbers away from Citi Field.
They are 16-9 on the road this year, and their .640 road winning percentage is third-best in the majors, as well as second-best in the National League. The Mets have been holding their own away from home in a major improvement from last season. In 2021, the Mets did not record their 16th win on the road until June 19, which was their 36th road game. In addition, the Mets’ .265 road batting average ranks second in MLB, while their .334 OBP ranks third.
“I don’t get into the litmus test,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said of the challenge of their current road trip. “It’s a competitive situation every night. A long way from home tonight. It’s a really good team and we’ll compete.”