Some may have assumed New York Mets team president Sandy Alderson disclosing last week that ace Jacob deGrom had dealt with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that has since healed could've represented the team shutting the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner down through at least the rest of the regular season.
Those people would have been wrong.
As Anthony DiComo of the MLB website noted, deGrom completed some light bullpen work for the first time since he was shut down in July and is "on track" to potentially take the bump against opposing batters before the regular-season finale concludes on Oct. 3:
News: Jacob deGrom threw 10 pitches off a mound today, marking his first bullpen work since his shutdown in July. This was a light session. The Mets will continue to be cautious, but deGrom's comeback remains on track for late this season.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 14, 2021
In total, deGrom has encountered no fewer than six separate injury issues this season, and the 33-year-old could still be working his way back to full fitness when/if the Mets are officially eliminated from playoff contention. He last pitched July 7 and is 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA and 0.55 WHIP in 15 starts this year.
The Mets entered their Tuesday evening home game against the St. Louis Cardinals at 72-73 but were just three-and-a-half games out of a potential wild-card berth. It's unknown if the Mets would have deGrom face MLB batters before spring training of next year if they can't qualify for the postseason by the time he's cleared to return.