WASHINGTON — Jacob deGrom plans to pitch Monday in a doubleheader against Atlanta, he said Saturday, confident as ever that the right shoulder soreness that caused him to leave his most recent start isn’t a big deal.
Dealing with his fourth minor physical issue of the season — and his eighth in the past year — deGrom said he and the Mets discussed him going on the injured list to give his body a rest and give the medical staff a chance to figure out what is going on. But they opted not to.
"That was the discussion, but after getting images on it, seeing the spot it was in and how it’s responded the past couple days, I decided to try to proceed as normal," said deGrom, who turned 33 on Saturday. "It felt like it’s nothing internal. It was more muscular stuff. So got it to calm down with the treatment we’ve been doing, and throwing these past couple days has felt really good."
DeGrom’s comments came on the field at Nationals Park, moments after he threw a bullpen session, his standard third-day-after-a-start workload.
That went well, he said, so he plans to take his regular turn in the rotation Monday, unless he feels "terrible" at any point before then.
"I don’t anticipate that," deGrom said.
Manager Luis Rojas spoke in more ambiguous terms.
"Nothing different" with the deGrom plan, he said. "But we still want to approach this day by day."
The origin of the injury, according to deGrom: a swing-and-miss at an up-and-away fastball from the Cubs’ Robert Stock in the bottom of the second inning Wednesday. He wound up working a full count and sending an RBI single to rightfield but felt the discomfort when pitching in the third (during which he struck out the side).
"I normally get sore back there [after] I pitch, but not during the game," deGrom said. "So I think I aggravated it and was feeling it when I was on the mound. I felt like that was the right move, to say something, feeling it throwing is not ideal because I didn’t want to change any of my mechanics and end up injuring something else."
He attributed his tight side/lower back last month to a swing, too. So the near-term solution might be for deGrom — hitting .423 — to stop swinging.
"I guess I’ll have to take," he said.
Maybe he can bunt.
"Depends on where they put me in the lineup," he said with a grin. "I don’t want to bunt from the four-hole."
Then he added in a more serious tone: "The main thing is be healthy and out there on the mound. It’s probably not smart to go out there and swing like I have been swinging."
Between games of their doubleheader, the Mets put lefthander Joey Lucchesi on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, an unexpected move after he had posted a 1.19 ERA in his past five games.
Rojas said Lucchesi felt the discomfort develop during his start Friday.
"Our medical staff is not highly concerned about the inflammation," Rojas said, adding that Lucchesi will get an MRI "at some point."
That made room for outfielder Albert Almora Jr., who returned after a five week-plus stay on the IL. He went 2-for-3 with two doubles.
The Mets traded reliever Jacob Barnes to the Blue Jays for minor-league righthander Troy Miller. Barnes was designated for assignment on Monday. Miller, 24, is a starter who was recently promoted to Double-A . . . Righthanded reliever Yennsy Diaz, anointed the Mets’ 27th man for the day, tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings . . . Rojas said the Mets plan to wait until Monday to bring back Jeff McNeil (strained left hamstring).
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