NEW YORK (AP) — Mets ace Jacob deGrom felt tightness in his pitching shoulder while playing catch, putting his status for opening day in jeopardy.
New York manager Buck Showalter told reporters Thursday night at spring training in Florida that deGrom will probably be scratched from his scheduled outing Friday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals. He’ll be re-evaluated and likely have an MRI on his shoulder.
“We are going to see how he is in the morning before we scratch him,” Showalter said, according to MLB.com. “But he has to be pretty convincing to pitch him tomorrow. I’ll be surprised if he pitches tomorrow — rain or no rain.”
The two-time Cy Young Award winner is slated to start the season opener next Thursday in Washington.
It’s concerning news for the Mets, who have big plans this season after signing fellow ace Max Scherzer to join deGrom atop a terrific rotation.
After getting off to a sensational start last year, deGrom didn’t pitch during the second half because of a sprained elbow. He was 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA in 15 outings, but New York collapsed without him to finish 77-85 after leading the NL East for 103 days. His final start was July 7 against Milwaukee.
The right-hander reported to camp healthy this year and has permitted one run over five innings in Grapefruit League games, striking out 10. His most recent outing was Sunday against the Cardinals.
Earlier in camp, deGrom said he plans to opt out of his contract after this season and become a free agent.
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