Jacob deGrom soon could offer more clarity on his lat injury, and perhaps spare the Mets from further taxing their burned-out bullpen. After spending the last few days with his wife following the birth of their son, deGrom is scheduled to meet the Mets in Cleveland on Friday.
Terry Collins is hopeful deGrom can throw a bullpen session, though the manager admitted that’s far from a guarantee. If deGrom can’t throw, he may wind up on the disabled list.
“He hasn’t played catch, to be honest,” Collins said. “So, if he can’t [throw his side session], we’re probably going to have to consider something else. We don’t want to continue to play that short for another two weeks.”
DeGrom’s absence has left the Mets short. Long man Logan Verrett was used as a spot starter Wednesday, and Steven Matz’s brief appearance Monday left the rest of the bullpen to absorb the innings. Although righty Rafael Montero was summoned from the minors Tuesday, it came at the cost of an extra man on the bench.
The Mets’ bullpen shortage came into play in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over the Marlins. With few options, Collins used Jim Henderson one night after he threw a career-high 34 pitches.
“I came in this morning, I played catch, I felt good,” said Henderson, who has endured an arduous return from shoulder surgery two years ago.
Henderson had been throwing in the mid-90s. But after his velocity dipped into the low 90s, he blamed mechanics, not fatigue. “Right now, I’m not too overly concerned,” he said. “If I come out the next outing and it’s the same thing, then maybe we’ve got to look at some tape and some mechanical things. The arm feels structurally great, though. I felt good this morning, so I’m not concerned.”
Familia pitched for the third straight game, even though the closer is still feeling under the weather with a cold. He insisted his arm was fine.
“I’m not surprised,” said Familia, who recorded the final five outs. “This week was tough for our bullpen. We’re pitching a lot. I felt like I could pitch and I [went] out there.”
With an off day Thursday, Collins said he was willing to push Henderson and Familia, even early in the season.