Mets ace Jacob deGrom on injury-shortened 2021 and what's next: 'I was definitely frustrated'

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Jacob deGrom delivers a pitch side view Citi Field day game June 2021
Jacob deGrom delivers a pitch side view Citi Field day game June 2021

In July, Mets ace Jacob deGrom appeared to be on track to not only win his third Cy Young award but to be the author of one of the best seasons ever.

But forearm and elbow injuries derailed what could've been a historic season, with deGrom not pitching after July 7.

He was eventually shut down for the season on Sept. 28, despite his having checked all the boxes as he worked toward a return.

With the Mets eliminated from playoff contention, the decision from all involved was that there was no point of having deGrom pitch in a game again in 2021.

During the rehab process, deGrom spoke a few times, but only briefly.

Recently, he spoke with MLB.com's Anthony DiComo about his injury-riddled season and what's next.

"You just see how it affects everybody else," deGrom said about how his injury impacted the team as they went from first place to out of contention by mid-September. "It’s like, ‘Man, I should be out there playing. I should be out there taking the ball every fifth day.' So it’s just frustrating. I was definitely frustrated. It was one of those things that I just couldn’t get rid of it."

The injury for deGrom started as a forearm issue and then became an elbow issue -- something deGrom told DiComo he felt was "aggravated" by the positioning of his arm in the MRI tube.

Jul 7, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) walks off the field after pitching the top of the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field.
Jul 7, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) walks off the field after pitching the top of the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field.

Mets president Sandy Alderson said on Sept. 9 that deGrom had been dealing with a slight UCL tear that resolved itself.

DeGrom later said that his UCL was "perfectly fine."

While deGrom was shut down late in the season, he reached 98 mph during side sessions and was prepared to pitch in the playoffs had the Mets gotten there.

"If we did make the playoffs, it was definitely like, 'Hey, I’m pitching in the playoffs,'" deGrom told MLB.com. "I think once we saw we were kind of out of it, it was like, 'OK, there’s no reason to keep pushing this. Let’s just shut it down, rest and be healthy for next year.'"

DeGrom added that his plan was to start his offseason throwing routine on Nov. 1.

Regarding his opt-out, which is looming after the 2022 season (deGrom can opt out of the remaining two years and $63 million he's due in 2023 and 2024), deGrom said it's "just something we’ll have to see how next year goes."