PHILADELPHIA — Jacob deGrom is fixed, the Mets think.
He never was actually broken, really, but when you’re the National League Cy Young Award winner, consecutive mediocre starts are enough to raise questions.
After lasting only five innings Sunday against the Braves, deGrom delved into the video for 45 minutes, manager Mickey Callaway said. DeGrom typically doesn’t like to analyze his mechanics in that way.
This time they think a simple mechanical fix will get the righthanded ace back to his regular self. “He could feel what I saw,” pitching coach Dave Eiland said.
As Eiland described it, deGrom has been pushing off the rubber toward home plate a tad too soon, which meant his arm wasn’t in the proper position.
“That was making him cut his fastball at times,” Eiland said. “His slider was flat. He didn’t have the depth to his changeup because he wasn’t getting to his arm slot.
“Very similar to what was going on with Zack [Wheeler]. When those guys get off, their issues are very, very similar. Because their arm slot is similar, delivery is similar. [DeGrom] was doing the same thing against Minnesota [last week].”
DeGrom tested the fix Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park during what Eiland called “basically a glorified catch off the mound, going through his delivery, and got everything back in the right places.”
Also worth noting: DeGrom was sick part of last week, interfering with the quality of his between-starts workload.
“He wasn’t getting much out of it,” Eiland said. “I’m not using that as an excuse.”
DeGrom (3.68 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) will pitch Friday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
“We got everything back in the right spot,” Eiland said. “I look for him to be much more Jacob deGrom-like in his next start.”
A question at third
Even when Todd Frazier returns from his strained left oblique, the Mets won’t have a named starting third baseman, Callaway said.
Instead, the Mets will use some mixture of Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis and Frazier, the starter last year. He still is on a rehab assignment with advanced Class A St. Lucie.
“We’ll pick spots where we maximize everybody’s ability to help us win on a daily basis,” Callaway said. “It’s not just about getting guys playing time. It’s never going to be about that. We want the best players out there at all times. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’ll get it done.”
In preparation for the more crowded third-base situation, Davis has resumed working out in leftfield. Callaway said he hopes to get Davis in-game reps there in blowouts.
The Mets optioned infielder Luis Guillorme to Triple-A Syracuse, calling up righthander Drew Gagnon as a long reliever in his place.
That leaves the Mets without a backup shortstop for Amed Rosario. McNeil would be the emergency guy, Callaway said, adding that Keon Broxton was a pretty good shortstop during his Florida high school days.
“Psh, I’m a pretty good shortstop now,” said a smiling Broxton, a defensive standout in the outfield.
A subtle benefit of adding Wilson Ramos as the Mets' starting catcher: his familiarity with the Phillies, whom he played for late last season. “That always helps,” Callaway said. “Seeing it firsthand and understanding what is going on in the box with a hitter is huge and should help us out strategically.” … As part of MLB’s Jackie Robinson Day celebrations, the Mets and Phillies all wore No. 42 Monday. Actor/singer Jamie Foxx threw out the first pitch.