With an injury-riddled season behind them, the Mets could see all five starters back in the rotation for 2017. That includes 28-year-old right-hander Jacob deGrom, who told the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan that he hasn’t had pain in his elbow after recovering from ulnar nerve surgery last September.
Prior to missing the last month of the 2016 season with elbow issues, deGrom pitched to a 3.04 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9 over 148 innings. The right-hander has been working his way back to the mound over the offseason and started throwing to Mets’ backstop Travis d'Arnaud last week.
Getting all five of the Mets’ star pitchers — deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler — to the mound in the same season will still take some effort, however. Harvey underwent a procedure to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome last July, while Matz had a bone spur removed from his left elbow in September.
Both pitchers appear on track to pitch during spring training, with Wheeler as a potential outlier as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery in 2015. The 26-year-old is treating this offseason as a normal one, per Newsday’s Anthony Rieber, but is expected to shoulder a lighter load with the team in 2017. He could ease back into a major league role by switching to long relief, but said that he would prefer to remain a starter if possible.