CINCINNATI — Jacob deGrom’s 100 mph heat in his return to game action didn’t thrill Mets officials, but the high velocity was also understood.
“What are you going to do?” manager Buck Showalter said Monday, a day after deGrom threw 24 pitches for Single-A St. Lucie in his first rehab start since beginning the season on the injured list with a stress reaction on his right scapula.
DeGrom topped out at 101 mph and reached triple digits on seven pitches. He struck out five of the six batters he faced over 1 ²/₃ innings.
Showalter hinted there had been discussions with deGrom about “dialing it back” with his fastball this early in the rehab assignment. But it’s also possible adrenaline took over.
“It’s not because he is trying at max-effort torque, he’s just got a rested arm and I am sure he’s got a lot of positive emotion going,” Showalter said.
“What do you think he’s going to do when he comes back up here? I don’t think he is going to dial it back there, so I guess he is getting ready for what he is going to be asked to do up here.”
DeGrom felt good on Monday, according to Showalter, and remains on a five-day schedule. That places the right-hander’s next start for St. Lucie on Friday at Daytona.
Showalter said he would expect deGrom’s velocity to dip as his rehab progresses.
“As he starts getting some of that good tired, I think you will see some of that come down,” Showalter said. “But he’s got a fully rested arm with a lot of want to and I think you saw the result of that.”
David Peterson will return from the paternity list to start Wednesday’s series finale, according to Showalter, as Chris Bassitt remains sidelined in the COVID protocol.
Showalter termed Bassitt a “long shot” to pitch Thursday against the Marlins, and indicated Trevor Williams is lined up for that start. Bassitt, who was scratched from his start last Friday, has been throwing on the side to stay loose.
Travis Jankowski was scheduled to play five innings in center field and receive three at-bats in a minor league rehab appearance for Triple-A Syracuse. The outfielder has been on the injured list, retroactive to May 26, after he fractured the fourth metacarpal on his left hand. Showalter didn’t rule out the possibility Jankowski could return before the All-Star break.
Edwin Diaz and his brother Alexis brought the respective lineup cards to home plate before the game. Alexis, a Reds reliever, debuted in the major leagues this season, but was placed on the IL last month with right biceps tendinitis. Alexis Diaz has pitched to a 2.40 ERA in 27 appearances for the Reds with two saves.