Jacob DeGrom tosses, Mets expect ace to make next scheduled start

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NEW YORK – Two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom is expected to make his next scheduled start for the New York Mets despite having to leave his most recent outing because of an elbow ailment.

DeGrom played catch and threw a bullpen session Saturday afternoon, a day after he exited after six scoreless innings against San Diego because of right flexor tendinitis.

Manager Luis Rojas said his ace should be ready to face the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

A precautionary MRI showed no problem, Rojas said.

“It’s something that we want to take day by day so today it’s just play catch,” Rojas said. “He said he felt fine, so we’ll see the progression in between starts and see that he can do everything, throw his side and make his next start. That’s the expectation right now but we still want to pay close attention to it.”

DeGrom was pulled after 80 pitches of one-hit ball against the Padres. He was not concerned the diagnosis will disrupt a season in which he has dominated opponents.

The elbow began to tighten up in the sixth inning Friday, said deGrom, who extended his streak of scoreless innings to 22.

DeGrom’s 0.56 ERA is the lowest ever by a pitcher through 10 starts, just ahead of Juan Marichal’s 0.59 in 1966.

“Whenever you say elbow anything for a pitcher, everyone gets nervous about that,” deGrom said Friday. “But like I said, I do a lot of ligament tests on my own, and doing those, knowing what those feel like, it’s a totally different spot.”

DeGrom had a no-hitter until Wil Myers beat the shift with a weak grounder in the fifth. Myers was caught stealing and was the only runner to reach base on deGrom, who struck out 10.

He has thrown 128 of his 839 pitches this season 100 mph or harder. He topped that mark seven times Friday. No other starter had more than 10 such pitches before Friday. Rojas said pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and the performance team constantly monitor the stress on deGrom’s arm.

DeGrom got his 100th strikeout this year when Fernando Tatis Jr. went down swinging in the fourth, reaching the mark in 61 2/3 innings. It is the fewest innings to reach 100 punchouts in a season since the mound was moved to 60 feet, six inches in 1893, per ESPN.

Jones, Maddux, Morris consider Bonds, Clemens for Hall

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COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Hall of Famers Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Jack Morris and Ryne Sandberg are among 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee that will meet to consider the Cooperstown fate of an eight-man ballot that includes Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro.

Hall of Famers Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also are on the panel, which will meet in San Diego ahead of the winter meetings.

They will be joined by former Toronto CEO Paul Beeston, former Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno, Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng, Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter and Chicago White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams.

Three media members/historians are on the committee: longtime statistical analyst Steve Hirdt of Stats Perform, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Neal and Slusser are past presidents of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark will be the committee’s non-voting chair.

The ballot also includes Albert Belle, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling. The committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A candidate needs 75% to be elected and anyone who does will be inducted on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the BBWAA vote, announced on Jan. 24.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their 10th and final appearances on the BBWAA ballot. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program, just over two weeks after getting his 3,000th hit.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) in 2021. Support dropped after hateful remarks he made in retirement toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2019. Murphy was on the BBWAA ballot 15 times and received a high of 116 votes (23.2%) in 2000. Mattingly received a high of 145 votes (28.2%) in the first of 15 appearances on the BBWAA ballot in 2001, and Belle appeared on two BBWAA ballots, receiving 40 votes (7.7%) in 2006 and 19 (3.5%) in 2007.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.

This year’s BBWAA ballot includes Carlos Beltran, John Lackey and Jered Weaver among 14 newcomers and Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner among holdovers.