OAKLAND -- Jacob deGrom is ready to start Saturday.
The rookie right-hander took the next step toward a return from the disabled list when he threw to hitters before Tuesday night’s game against the Oakland A’s. This followed a 20-pitch bullpen session Sunday, the same day he missed his second straight start because of rotator-cuff tendinitis.
As long as nothing freakish happens between now and Saturday night, deGrom will be the man against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
New York Mets
“It’s a nice step to throw with no problems,” deGrom said after his bullpen. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow and go from there. I think the goal is to start sometime this weekend.”
Terry Collins said Tuesday’s bullpen was all he needed to see to declare deGrom ready for Saturday, the first day the 26-year old is eligible to come off the DL.
“Right now he’s on schedule to pitch Saturday,” Collins said. “He threw absolutely great [Tuesday], so we’re hoping he’s going to pitch on Saturday.”
DeGrom has not reported any discomfort after sessions since he landed on the DL, and on Tuesday he threw “everything” in his tool box to assure himself and the Mets’ medical staff he was ready to take his next turn in the rotation.
Because deGrom missed his past two starts, it likely means he will be able to pitch through the end of the season and avoid being shut down because of an innings limit.
“I’m not sure how many innings I have left, but I think I can stay strong through the rest of the year,” deGrom said. “When it first happened, they said something about missing these two [starts], I should be able to pitch to the end of the year. Either way, I was going to have to miss a couple of starts.”
If deGrom does come off the DL Saturday, it could be rookie Rafael Montero who is sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas.
As for Bartolo Colon, who is on the bereavement list after traveling to the Dominican Republic for the death of his mother the past weekend, Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson did not know exactly when he would return to the Mets’ rotation. Sunday is his next scheduled start.