Mets: Can You Figure Out The Strategy Holding deGrom Back – I Can’t

Jacob deGrom: Behold - Greatness In Our Time (NY Times)

Did anyone expect the Mets to open the second half with anyone but Jacob deGrom? What’s their thinking here, and it better be good.

In theory, the Mets should have been able to welcome a fully-rested Jacob deGrom into their clubhouse on Friday, following four days of time with his family during the All-Star break, an event he declined to attend.

So, I guess it means if I ace the two tests in the first semester, there’s no reason to try to ace the third test in the second semester.

DeGrom did not open for the Mets last night, and as most fans know, the team lost to the feeble and last-place Pittsburgh Pirates, shutout no less by a score of 3-0.

Tonight, no deGrom either as Tylor Megill gets the ball. Tomorrow? No deGrom again as According to ESPN, the Mets have yet to declare a starter for the series closing afternoon game.

Mets: What’s Behind The Strategy – Only Questions

Pick your theory as to why this has happened. Any one of them is probably good, but what are the Mets thinking here?

Mets Luis Rojas: Casual but with firm expectations
Mets Luis Rojas: Casual but with firm expectations

We know from experience the team has a history of, let’s just say, being “coy” with injured players. They don’t outright lie, but it’s like pulling teeth to learn what the medical situation with a player is.

So, are the Mets thinking, hey, it’s just the Pirates, and we can handle them, so let’s save Jake for the Reds on Monday, a team that has one win more than we do?

Or, is the plan less sinister and the Mets giving deGrom a “few extra days to prepare” himself for the second half of the season?

Hello. This is the second half.

In a story by Mike Puma for the New York Post, Mets manager Luis Rojas put this spin on the Mets strategy:

“I think the thought process is he’s going to get the same number of starts and he’s going to be able to see our division more in the second half,” Rojas said. “That was the thought process of potentially having him for Sunday, if not Monday, but that is the way it’s lined up. He will have the same amount of starts, so we’ll see how he is.”Mike Puma, New York Post

Okay, let’s assume the Mets’ thinking has some logic to it but does that mean if I ace two of my Biology tests the first semester, I shouldn’t try for three in the second semester?

The other part of the equation is also a bit fuzzy because the Mets have pretty much handed Jacob deGrom the ball, not only to start a game but to have the final say in all things about when he pitches and how long he stays in a game.

And thus, deGrom is right in step with the team, and he has okayed what they are doing?

Mets: And More Questions…

Or, and here’s a conspiracy alert, are the Mets and deGrom hiding an injury that forces him to be sidelined for these extra days?

Mets Franchise Jacob deGrom (NY Post)
Mets Franchise Jacob deGrom (NY Post)

I’m not going there except to say the Mets need to do everything they can to put their best foot forward in getting off to a hot start in the second half, and Jacob deGrom gives them the best chance of doing so.

Already, the Mets lead in the NL East standings has shrunk to three games, with the Atlanta Braves only four out and giving signs they’re ready to make moves like the one yesterday that brought them, Joc Peterson, to replace All-Star Ronald Acuna Jr., who is out for the season.

Like all Mets fans, I hope their strategy with deGrom is the right one and that he is strong enough to start three of seven games in a playoff series in October.

I’m just saying it’s a little odd…

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Tony Porter Totally perplexing.

Walter Le Blanc I don’t Think He’s Completely Healthy

Dan Green They said it pretty clear…it’s very simple! To get him back in line with the aces on the other teams! Not very hard to figure out! Our rotation was out of wack with our injuries and rain outs! Now they are trying to get him in better rotation for more important games against other teams aces!

Dave Cedrone HORRIBLE decision!!! You put your ace out there and set the tone. Well, the tone fell flat (pun intended), there was no syncopation, no one keeping everyone on the same page of music… an utterly horrible game to watch.

Andrew Lavan They want him lined up against more divisional opponents. So he’ll most likely go on Monday. Author’s Note: Okay, so the Mets are now sages who can predict the weather and future postponements?

Bruce Sadler They do not want him to get injured. You know what you pay him to pitch and win games let him eat and I am not even a Mets fan . Seems like all you hear is the Mets pitching staff is top-notch and then the Manager does not let them pitch.

Robert Kachelreiss Last night they said he was home during the break and did not get back till late last night he did not throw a bullpen like he normally would before a start Author’s Note: Again, rather odd for a consummate pro like Jake, no?

Stephen Steele I think there’s a lingering soft tissue injury. They’re playing catch up with rest.

Update: 6:15 PM ET 7/17/2021

Thanks to a tip from Andrew Lavan, I was directed to this report from Steve Gelb on Twitter…

Luis Rojas says that Jacob deGrom felt some tightness in his forearm while throwing his side yesterday and stopped throwing. He’s getting treatment today and his next start is TBA.
If true, that’s all we needed, and why did it take the Mets so long to reveal this?

With this, we’ll close out published comments and consider the article moot, though, I hope you see it as well-intended.

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.