Buck Showalter said of Jacob deGrom, “All these things he’s...

Buck Showalter said of Jacob deGrom, “All these things he’s doing are setting (him) up to pitch in games" after Wednesday's session. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

In the bowels of Citi Field, a mere 1,183 miles away, Buck Showalter watched live on a large computer monitor Wednesday morning as injured ace Jacob deGrom completed his latest mound session in Port St. Lucie, Florida: 27 pitches to minor-leaguers. 

Showalter liked his face.

“I know this is going to sound crazy, but just the facial expressions. You can tell he’s upbeat about where he is — the body language more than anything,” the Mets manager said of what was most encouraging. “He looks like what you’d expect of a guy who is getting closer. You can tell he’s enamored with what’s going on right now. He likes it.” 

DeGrom remains sidelined because of a stress reaction in his right shoulder blade, discovered late in spring training, and Showalter declined to say what his next step would be. 

But based on a normal post-injury buildup, even a slow one like deGrom’s, he should be approaching a minor-league rehabilitation assignment. This was his third time throwing live batting practice.

His rehab is progressing just as the Mets thought it would, according to Showalter. 

“All these things he’s doing are setting (him) up to pitch in games,” he said. “We feel pretty confident with all the people weighing in about what needs to be done for him to be cleared. He’ll stay on the schedule. There’s no reason to deviate from it. He’s doing so well from it.” 

 

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of his most recent major league game: July 7, 2021.

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” Showalter said. “Tomorrow if he feels well we’ll probably be able to talk about that next step.”

‘Gold’ Guillorme

Luis Guillorme continued to make his case for everyday playing time Wednesday when he recorded at least one out all of the 12 times the ball was hit to him at third base, including several plays that he made look easy but were not.

“He’s a Gold Glover,” Taijuan Walker said. “Any time they hit it over that way, I know it’s a for-sure out.”

Showalter said: “You purchase a ticket and you come out and watch him play third base today. That was fun. He’s some kind of defender. We’re lucky to have him.”

Guillorme said he likes regular action in the field.

“It makes it a lot easier when you’re involved in a lot of plays at third,” he said. “Tai was doing what he does best: getting people to roll over on that splitter.”

Scary moment

The Mets and Astros paused play in the bottom of the eighth when shortstop Jeremy Pena and leftfielder Yordan Alvarez collided on Dominic Smith’s pop-out (which Pena caught in medium-depth left-center).

Both were slow to get up and exited the game, Pena under his own power and Alvarez on a cart. The Astros said they were being evaluated for concussions.