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.
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.
“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.
“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.
“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
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