Mets’ Jacob deGrom set to kick off mock game
CHICAGO — Jacob deGrom’s potential final buildup before joining the Mets is scheduled for Tuesday.
The Mets ace will kick off a mock game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., manager Buck Showalter said Saturday. Previously, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner said the plan was to expand deGrom to around 60 pitches.
If deGrom passes his mock play without incident, it’s possible he could be slotted into the Mets’ rotation, with July 24 (against the Padres) and July 26 (Subway Series) the prime candidates for his return. But the Mets have not committed to anything, if it is determined that deGrom would benefit from an additional rehab start after his mock game.
DeGrom, who is coming back from a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, threw 42 pitches Thursday for Triple-A Syracuse in his third rehab start.
Dominic Smith was scheduled to receive right ankle imaging after coming off in the 10th inning of the Mets’ 2-1, 11-inning win over the Cubs in Game 1 of their doubles sweep on Saturday. Smith, who started the inning as an auto-runner at second base, was retreating into the sack when he twisted his ankle.
Jeff McNeil will start at NL second base — replacing the Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr. — in the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night. McNeil will be the first Mets player to start in the All-Star Game since 2013 at Citi Field (Matt Harvey and David Wright).
« It’s been a pretty fantastic week, » said McNeil, whose son, Lucas, was born on Wednesday. « The birth of a son, then making the All-Star team, then All-Star Starter. »
Showalter was asked if he could identify the Mets’ first-half MVP.
« It’s been a sum of the parts so far and it’s going to continue if we’re going to get to where we need to go, » Showalter said. “Sometimes that sum of the parts is in Syracuse. It’s like starting pitchers: they pitch every five days, but they can impact the team on the other four days with some of the things they do. Even the things that someone on the bench allows us to do in the game, only because we have that person’s safety net there. It’s all part of the process.
« When you would have to have such a debate, it kind of tells you what your modus operandi has been. »
The Mets have five players (Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor and McNeil) with 80+ hits this season. The Blue Jays were the only other team in the major leagues, entering Saturday, with five players at that level.
Five MLB teams were without a player who reached 80 hits.