Jacob deGrom to alter throwing mechanics to prevent reinjury

Monday is a big day for New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom. He is having a follow-up MRI to examine the stress reaction in the scapula of his pitching shoulder that has prevented him from making his season debut and that will sideline him through at least the bulk of May. 

The two-time Cy Young Award winner hasn’t faced an opposing batter in a meaningful game since July 7. He missed the entire second half of the 2021 campaign due to lingering elbow issues. It appears the Mets may have discovered the culprit to blame for his latest setback. 

According to Anthony DiComo of the league’s website, the Mets determined while reviewing video footage “that deGrom was jerking his arm back more violently as he brought the ball out of his glove this spring, resulting in undue stress on his shoulder while he separated his hands during his delivery.”

Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner said the club doesn’t know for sure that action caused deGrom’s injury, but the 33-year-old will look “to minimize the aggressive nature of his motion” whenever he is cleared to resume throwing, perhaps as soon as after Monday’s examination. 

“The body isn’t designed to do that,” Hefner said of deGrom’s questionable mechanics. “That’s where we just try to look at what has worked in the past. Can we get back to that? And hopefully, that keeps them healthy. A lot of this is hoping. If there was a cure for Tommy John, if there was a cure for shoulder injuries, we would obviously be doing everything in our power to do that. But no one really knows. We do know some things that tend to lead to healthy arms, but we don’t know definitively.”

Without deGrom, the Mets have climbed atop the National League East standings heading into the final week of April and became the first team to notch 12 victories this season. 

Meanwhile, the Mets are hoping right-hander Taijuan Walker will be able to return to the rotation for this coming weekend’s home series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Walker has been out of action since he went down with right shoulder bursitis in his first start of the campaign against Philadelphia back on April 11.

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