Mets: Rojas Must Ensure DeGrom Has The National Stage Sunday – No Matter What

Jacob deGrom - Mets Ace Always Gets The Call (Photo: The Athletic)

The Mets, with rainouts, have choices to make as to who pitches when. Just make sure Jacob deGrom takes the ESPN stage…

The Mets had David Peterson on tap to pitch Friday’s opener against the Atlanta Braves before an October-like front came in with rain and temps in the 50s.

Normally, the Mets would push each of their starters back one day, meaning Peterson goes today. Saturday’s scheduled starter Taijuan Walker takes Sunday’s game while pushing Jacob deGrom out to Monday.

Taijuan Walker, Mets Starter
Taijuan Walker, Mets Starter

Now, with more rain in the forecast all day and into the night today, the likelihood of another postponement is virtually assured and bringing more indecision to Luis Rojas and Mets pitching coach Jeremy Heffner.

Walker has been outstanding this year and coming back from an injury. He was biting the bit about his scheduled start today, meaning he’ll likely be camped outside the office of Rojas to get the start on Sunday, assuming tonight’s game is indeed rained out.

Mets: Degrom Is The Mike Trout  Of The East Coast

That is the wrong move, and hopefully, Mets manager Luis Rojas pauses for a minute to do whatever he has to do to ensure that deGrom makes the start Sunday night before a national television audience.

For many, deGrom is the Mike Trout of the East Coast.

Mike Trout - the best ballplayer on this planet
Mike Trout – the best ballplayer on this planet

We see the stats Trout puts up, and we know he is a future Hall of Famer, but rarely do we (on the East Coast) see him Trout play.

Ask any team in the National League East who is the pitcher they’d least like to face, and if it’s not unanimous, it’ll be close – Jacob deGrom.

The winner of two Cy Young awards, deGrom is battling for a third, but the competition is severe, with Cardinal’s starter Jack Flaherty already at eight wins while deGrom has three over seven starts.

Mets fans, much like fans of the Angels and Trout, know what they have in deGrom, but the trouble is the rest of MLB fans, and do they recognize the same?

Mets And deGrom In The ESPN Spotlight

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball‘s viewership is up 34% from 2020, according to Nielsen. The weekly Major League Baseball showcase operates in an exclusive time slot and averages 1,651,000 viewers per broadcast, up over 400,000 from a year ago.

The Mets, no matter what they need to do to juggle their rotation, must ensure that deGrom takes the mound Sunday night.

America needs to see what we see every fifth day from deGrom because otherwise, he’s only number 48 wearing a Mets jersey when ESPN and other outlets show 10-second recap clips,  the Mets game, before moving on to other games.

In a New York Daily News story Saturday, Luis Rojas mentioned that the team would try to keep Jacob deGrom (recently reinstated from the IL himself) on his regular schedule, which would have him pitch on Sunday.

“We want to get Walker in there tomorrow,” the Mets manager said. “Sunday, we’ll probably announce that tomorrow. We always want to keep Jake in line. We’ll have conversations about what we need to do and if we need to push [David] Peterson to Monday.”

Rain, Rain Go Away – But It Probably Won’t

Whatever happens with the weather, if a game is played Sunday night, Jacob deGrom needs to be making the start and pitching before a national television audience.

Luis Rojas - Year two is the real thing
Luis Rojas – Year two is the real thing

The only hitch to that is if the game is played in a steady drizzle with temps in the low fifties, as is predicted, then the Mets may think better of pitching deGrom, for fear that discomfort in his right side might erupt again.

Meanwhile, Rojas has other things on his plate, including a message delivered to his players via the New York Daily News:

“You can’t turn the switch off,” the Mets manager explained. “You’ve got to be ready to play a game tomorrow. These are very important games. All games are important, but when you’re facing your division rivals, you got to prepare. These are the teams you see the most, so it’s a constant battle.”

Yes, it is – yes, it is – a “constant battle.”

A Diversion – My Favorite Casey Stengel Story

His Mets teammates surrounding him, beloved but prone to fumbles, Marv Throneberry was receiving Happy Birthday’s in the clubhouse when Casey Stengel walked in carrying a cake.

Walking gingerly towards Throneberry, Stengel stopped and paused, telling his first baseman, “I’d hand the cake to you, but I’m afraid you’d drop it”.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Ellen Clancy  If it’s pouring, and the game goes on to accommodate ESPN or to avoid more doubleheaders, the last thing I would want is Jake on a slippery mound on a cold night. He is not a rookie needing national attention…people know who he is …and ESPN, the absolute worst for covering baseball, would not do his game justice and have us turn to our radios, as usual, for audio. I wouldn’t want him starting a game likely to be interrupted.

Ellen Clancy  And “America” doesn’t vote for the Cy Young award. Rojas doesn’t “need” to provide entertainment, exposure, or baseball education for the masses—he needs to try to win games and/or protect his most valuable player. Anyone who follows baseball at all knows who DeGrom is, for goodness’ sake. Steve Contursi  Author Ellen Clancy Points well taken.

Matt Craig  I’m sure ESPN is making calls making sure they get him

Jeremy Cooper  The best pitcher in the game has to take the mound on regular rest, no matter what the rotation looks like.

Andrew Hass  I hope he pitches on the 31st .. the dry desert indoor arena chase field against the diamondbacks… and I’m driving to that game from Vegas so I want to see him bad 🤣🙏🏼

Mark Anthony Ramirez  He’s coming off an injury and the weather is supposed to be damp. Does he deserve the national stage? Yes, always but is it smart to risk further injury, Nah that f—ng stupid.

Anthony Silecchio Look….. Any chance we have to pitch Jake…….Take it. We are a miracle team right now with what we have to work with. I’m amazed we’re in first place. We’re winning with NOBODY…..Except pitching, of course.


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Author: stevecontursi

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