Jacob deGrom injury update: Mets' Luis Rojas reveals latest on ace RHP's status after throwing resumes

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Jacob deGrom 6/26 follow through cropped
Jacob deGrom 6/26 follow through cropped

Mets manager Luis Rojas shared an injury update on New York ace RHP Jacob deGrom (elbow inflammation) prior to Wednesday's game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field.

"Jacob was clear to start playing catch, and he started today," Rojas told SNY's Steve Gelbs in a pregame news conference, referencing a moment in the outfield where deGrom was seen throwing. "So had an MRI this morning and the doctor gave the green light after looking at the results, and he's playing catch for the first time in a while today.

"So we'll see what, where we go from here. There's not a progression mapped up yet on how things are going to keep going. But at least getting to play catch today, that's great news for us."

Asked in a follow-up question if the MRI came back fully clean, Rojas said he did not know for sure. However, deGrom's result was clearly good enough to take a step in the right direction.

"I don't know the details of the result," Rojas said. "What I do know is a doctor gave him the green light for Jake to throw. So if he's throwing, it means that things are looking good for the doctor. So he went out and threw, he was throwing. I haven't talked to him after he threw and how he felt and everything, but that's great news for us that he got the clear from the doctor."

While the Mets (61-64) are 6 1/2 games back of first place in the NL East, trailing the second-place Philadelphia Phillies (63-62) and division-leading Atlanta Braves (68-58), acting GM Zack Scott said Tuesday that the team would like to see deGrom back. Rojas echoed Scott's sentiments, but added that the Mets do not have a timetable for deGrom to return.

"Well, it would be huge to have him at the end, right?" Rojas said. "We've got to start playing better baseball, especially with our offense, if it starts clicking. And maybe to see Jake late in the season, probably at a preferred point of the season where we're closing the gap or facing our division rivals -- like, it would be ideal, right? But I don't know a timeline yet with Jake on how things are going to go, starting with today's clearance of playing catch. But it would be huge to have him back."

"Well, we'll see where we are, right?" Rojas added. "We've got to see how he progresses playing catch. I mean, if there's a flag, at some point, we're probably going to be smart about it, right? But we'll just see where we are with him and how the progression is, how he's responding. But this is great news that we got from the doctor today, that he's throwing -- that's it."

DeGrom, who has not pitched for the Mets since July 7, is 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA. In 15 starts over 92 innings, deGrom has struck out 196 and walked 11 while yielding 14 runs (11 earned) on 40 hits.

"He'll keep playing catch, it'll probably get to a distance," Rojas said. "Pitching coaches and performance staff, those are the ones that are going to put those together. I'm not going to be accurate if I say anything now. But I know there's going to be a progression that's going to go from playing catch at a certain distance, where you keep moving further and further, and then going on the slope and then seeing hitters and then going into games. So I don't know the exact timeline of that. So let's just wait and see what everyone puts together, per how he feels playing catch now."

"Jake's not a talker," Rojas added. "He's not animated any time about great news like this or anything. So he just went out there and played catch, right? And he's walking around. He does have a different demeanor. You can see him a little bit more, going, walking around and just having fun with the guys and all of that. But before, when he was going through this and the shutdown, he was a little bit more quieter. And he was -- you could see there was some frustration. So that's gone now. That's the only thing I've seen, right now, out of him."