Harold Capote Fernandez
Jacob deGrom is back at Citi Field and getting closer to the bullpen throw. The New York Mets ace still throws long pitches, but has moved his rehab from Port St. Lucie to Queens so he can soon be under the supervision of pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and others team officials.
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“The intensity is starting to increase now,” Hefner said Tuesday at Oracle Park in San Francisco, in remarks taken from the New York Daily News.
“We want to have eyes on him when we go into the bullpen, once he starts the bullpen he can do it with me and we can get him into that routine.”
— New York Mets (@LosMets) March 12, 2022
DeGrom, who was out due to a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, increased his long throw distance to around 90-105 feet. His next move will be to return to a mound and then throw paddocks. It’s possible he could progress at that rate as early as this weekend, Hefner said.
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As he moves through the bullpen and continues to increase his pitching count, it’s possible, if not likely, that the Cy Young Award winner will join the team on his next road trip, a tour. of 10 games and 11 days which launches June 2 in Los Angeles, San Diego and Anaheim.
After that, deGrom will pitch the bullpen live and take on the batters. His final step before joining the rotation will be to begin minor league rehabilitation, but the Mets have not set a timeline on when that step might occur.
“It’s not like a script,” Hefner said. “It’s more about how he feels. He has strong days, then weak days. And then we repeat them until he feels really good from a distance.”
The coach further said that deGrom, once back on a mound, will go through a ramp “quite similar” to a normal spring training progression. But that also doesn’t mean you’ll need six weeks from then to come back. The Mets base his growth entirely on how he feels once he adds more work.
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In other words, deGrom’s return schedule hasn’t changed just because he’s back at Citi Field. A return in late June or early July still seems plausible. And it’s still heartening to see that, 7 1/2 weeks since being banned from pitching, he’s still on track with his recovery. Hefner can’t wait to hit base and see him pitch long in person.
“I only saw him pitch on my phone,” the coach said with a laugh.
Source: New York Daily News