In a rare turn of events, prior to tonight’s ballgame against the Minnesota Twins, the Mets received great news regarding multiple players who are currently on the disabled list.
The first bit of exciting news involves Jacob deGrom who is scheduled to make his return to the rotation on Sunday afternoon against the Minnesota Twins. After throwing a 35-pitch bullpen session earlier this week, deGrom had no further issues with his injured forearm and has been cleared to start. The expectation is that the 28-year old right-hander will hover around 75 pitches for his return, as he hasn’t pitched since September 1st. The Mets will not want to push deGrom in his first start back to the rotation as they certainly want him as close to 100% for the remainder of the current run to the postseason. In 148 innings this season, deGrom has posted a 3.04 ERA with 143 strikeouts and only 36 walks.
In more exciting news, Juan Lagares has been activated off of the disabled list for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Lagares has been sidelined since the beginning of August after undergoing surgery on a torn ligament in his left thumb. We can primarily expect Lagares to be used as a defensive replacement and as a pinch runner, as the Mets were reportedly taking it easy with Lagares swinging a bat while he was rehabbing. It’s certainly welcoming news to bring back a Gold Glove defender to the roster, and he certainly will be utilized down the stretch for the Mets.
In surprising news, first baseman Lucas Duda will be activated off of the disabled list prior to tomorrow’s night’s game against the Minnesota Twins. While there is no clear evidence that Duda will be a big factor for the Mets down the stretch, he will be eased back into play as a pinch-hitting option off the bench. If Duda is productive and healthy he could begin to get starts again at first base, although that remains a big IF as back injuries have haunted the Mets over the past couple of seasons. However it’s great news as Duda has carried this team when he’s been hot, and there is no better time for him to go on a hot streak than right now. Prior to hitting the disabled list in May with a stress fracture in his back, Duda had seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 39 games.
In hopeful news, Steven Matz is scheduled to throw a full bullpen session tomorrow, and if all goes according to plan the 25-year old lefty will rejoin the Mets rotation next week. Matz already threw a 25-pitch session on Wednesday and came out of it fine, which leaves plenty of optimism that he can be a factor in the rotation down the stretch. Matz hasn’t pitched since August 14th due to a left shoulder impingement, and the Mets will be as cautious as possible as he makes his way back to the rotation.
And finally Wilmer Flores was diagnosed with inflammation in his left wrist after being checked out by doctors in New York. Flores was given a cortisone shot and he should be considered day-to-day. Flores was involved in a brutal home plate collision with Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski last Saturday and has been feeling lingering effects in both his neck and wrist over the past week. It’s certainly the best news the Mets could’ve received on Flores and hopefully we see the hometown hero back in the lineup by the end of the weekend.