Sidelined by injuries since last July, the two-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to start Sunday night for Class A St. Lucie against the Jupiter Hammerheads. He’s expected to throw about 25 pitches and two innings.
It will be the first competitive outing since spring training for deGrom, out all season because of a stress reaction in his right scapula that caused inflammation.
The announcement Saturday by New York came nearly a year since deGrom’s last major league outing on July 7, 2021. He missed the second half of last season with right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow, then returned in spring training this year and made Grapefruit League starts on March 22 and 27.
But then he was sidelined by the stress reaction and didn’t throw another bullpen until June 4. The 34-year-old right-hander has been facing hitters at the team’s complex in Florida and the Mets said he felt good after throwing 27 pitches to batters on Wednesday.
As he builds up arm strength and stamina, deGrom will need several minor league rehab outings before he’s ready to rejoin New York’s rotation. General manager Billy Eppler likened the process to a typical spring training progression, and manager Buck Showalter said deGrom won’t return until he’s stretched out enough that he could pitch five innings or more.
So the likelihood is deGrom still won’t be back in the big leagues until at least late July, after the All-Star break.
Fellow ace Max Scherzer (5-1, 2.54 ERA) is scheduled to return from a strained left oblique muscle Tuesday night at Cincinnati. Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, got hurt May 18 against St. Louis and recently made two rehab starts for Double-A Binghamton.