Jacob deGrom’s activities between pitches on Friday may be more scrutinized than usual, after a video went viral in recent days of the Mets’ right hand going over his belt and touching his glove before a pitch .
The controversy comes amid MLB’s attempt to crack down on a pitcher who has applied foreign substances to the ball. DeGrom, who has pitched for a 0.62 ERA this season, is scheduled to face the Padres at Citi Field, where the Mets will begin a seven-game homestand.
DeGrom’s teammates quickly came to his defense on Twitter after posting the video, which said he was applying a substance to baseball.
Catcher Tomas Niedo tweeted, “I promise you he doesn’t use anything.” “If he did, they would be lucky to give the ball a foul tip too.”
Added Kevin Pillar: “I’ll bet my paycheck on it that he uses for nothing.”
DeGrom has scored an earned run or less in each of his nine runs in 2021 – a major league record for starting the season. He played seven shutout innings with 11 strikes in his last start in San Diego on Saturday.
Carlos Carrasco – though feeling physically strong – didn’t move as fast as the Mets had expected, leading to the latest slowdown in his rehab after an evaluation of MRI test results by Dr. David Altchek on his right hamstring . Carrasco has been on the injured list since spring training, when he tore his right hamstring.
Team president Sandy Alderson said it was possible the right-hander might not be ready until the end of July.
“I expect that somewhere between early July and late,” Alderson said on MLB Network. “Maybe July is realistic at this point, but things have changed. What was realistic in April hasn’t happened, so it’s hard to tell.”
Alderson said he does not expect Noah Syndergaard, who has been laid off from being thrown into Tommy John surgery rehab, to return before Sept.
“What I am hoping is that we will get back to Carrasco and then Syndergaard, but it will be a big lift for our club at the right time,” Alderson said.
Friday begins a wild stretch for the Mets of 33 games scheduled over 31 days, leading to the All-Star break. Washington on June 28 featured three doubleheaders (against the Nationals, Braves and Phillies) and a make-up game. The Mets’ lone remaining scheduled off-day is in the middle of a homestand on June 24 before the All-Star break. Braves and Phillies.
Pilar, who blasted two homers against the Orioles on Wednesday, said his time on the injured list after suffering a face injury from the pitch and a broken nose last month was rewarding as it allowed him to focus on his swing again .
“The little time off allowed me, I don’t want to ask myself to rebuild, but to find a little rest in the box,” Pilar said.