A return to the Mets’ rotation doesn’t appear to be in the cards for right-hander Jacob deGrom, at least not in 2016. One day before his scheduled return to the mound, club GM Sandy Alderson announced his plan to scratch deGrom from his start on Sunday, with the strong possibility that he will be shelved for the rest of the season. Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the 28-year-old is expected to undergo ulnar nerve surgery after experiencing some pain in his right elbow.
As noted in yesterday’s column, deGrom was instructed to work within a strict pitch limit during Sunday’s matinee against the Twins, restricted to no more than 75 pitches as he worked his way back from a prolonged case of right forearm tightness. Now, faced with season-ending surgery, deGrom’s return to a major league platform will be pushed back even further, though it shouldn’t keep the right-hander from making a comeback during spring training in 2017.
In the meantime, rookie reliever Gabriel Ynoa will pick up deGrom’s start on Sunday. It’ll be a first for Ynoa, who has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen since his call-up in mid-August. It’s been a rocky year for the right-hander, who labored through 5 ⅓ innings of relief at the major league level and carried a 3.97 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 154 ⅓ innings with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2016.