Jacob deGrom faces the probability of season-ending surgery on his elbow.
deGrom was scheduled to start on Sunday after a pain-free bullpen session on Friday. But while throwing a ball back to the infield while shagging balls, he felt a pain.
“I just tried to lob it into the bucket, and I guess throwing that bullpen messed with that nerve, and after I threw it I said, ‘OK, I’ve got to go say something,'” deGrom said, according to ESPN New York. “One throw, that I felt it on, and it was definitely disappointing.”
“That nerve” is the ulnar nerve, and according to Sandy Alderson, it is common for pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery to have a buildup of scar tissue on the nerve that needs to be cleaned out.
“It’s unlikely he’ll pitch again this season,” Alderson said.
deGrom had surgery in 2010, and the scar tissue can often take years to build up.
“I’ve been through Tommy John before, and I definitely don’t want to go through that again, so I think this is good news compared to what it could’ve been,” he said.
Alderson said the procedure itself is not particularly series, saying it is “not a significant surgical procedure, at least with respect to risk going forward, but it’s something that will have to take place at some point.”
deGrom is 7-8 with a 3.04 ERA in 24 starts. If his season is indeed over (both he and Alderson held out a remote hope he could pitch again), it will make it that much harder for the Mets to go deep into October. While guys like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman have been doing fine jobs filling in, they do not scare anyone. Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon can only take them so far. And who knows what’s going on with Steven Matz.