Jacob deGrom: Skipping next start will 'help me in the long run'

ByMark Simon ESPN logo
Saturday, August 27, 2016

FLUSHING, N.Y. -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins said there is "a pretty good chance" that starting pitcher Jacob deGrom's next start will be skipped as he looks to rebound from consecutive poor performances against the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.

Mets staff and deGrom say that his issue is with his release point, a problem that caused him trouble earlier this season. DeGrom said the team's TrackMan technology found that his release point was two inches higher and two inches more toward first base in his past two starts than it usually is for him.

That appears to have impacted the performance of deGrom's fastball, against which the Cardinals and Giants batted .500 (16-for-32), and his slider, a pitch with which he typically gets strikes at a 68 percent rate. He threw only 13 of 23 (57 percent) for strikes in his past two starts

DeGrom was roughed up for eight runs and 13 hits in five innings in a 10-7 loss to the Giants, then five runs and 12 hits in 4 innings in an 8-1 loss to the Cardinals.

"I want to be out there, but I think this is going to help me in the long run," deGrom said of skipping a start.

The Mets did not yet have a replacement in mind, though Terry Collins listed Sean Gilmartin, Gabriel Ynoa, Logan Verrett, Seth Lugo and Rafael Montero as possibilities. Lugo would be starting on short rest after pitching five innings Thursday. Montero has a 1.70 ERA in eight starts for Double-A Binghamton.

Collins and general manager Sandy Alderson said deGrom has performed well after having extended rest in the past. That was true in 2015, when deGrom skipped a turn after allowing six runs in five innings against the Marlins on Sept. 15. Upon returning, he allowed one run in 17 innings, with 29 strikeouts in his next three starts, including a win in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Dodgers.

The Mets also hope that Steven Matz will be able to come off the disabled list Tuesday. He has been out with shoulder inflammation and was scheduled to throw a bullpen before Friday's game. Lugo was also deemed fine by Collins after leaving Thursday's start with a calf cramp.