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Mets' Jacob deGrom scratched with back stiffness

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom has been scratched from Monday's Grapefruit League start in Lakeland against the Detroit Tigers with what the team described as back stiffness.

DeGrom is not alarmed. He instead threw an equivalent number of pitches off a mound back at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie on Monday morning.

"I think it's more precautionary," deGrom said. "I really didn't want to ride on the bus for a couple of hours and then go try to pitch. ... Today I feel good. Yesterday I felt good. I think it's just more not sitting on the bus for a couple of hours and then going out there and pitching."

DeGrom believes a soft mattress he had been using might have caused the back discomfort. Matt Harvey recommended a more firm mattress to him, and deGrom had one shipped overnight last week to try to alleviate the issue.

"I had to switch something up, and that seemed to work," deGrom said.

DeGrom has appeared in one Grapefruit League game so far. He allowed one run on five hits while striking out two in three innings against the New York Yankees on Wednesday.

DeGrom also was slowed earlier in camp because of a tweak to a muscle in his upper left thigh.

Seth Lugo instead will start against the Tigers.