The best pitcher in the world won’t play in the All-Star Game, and he probably won’t even go.
Jacob deGrom was named an All-Star on Sunday, the Mets’ only representative, after posting a majors-best 0.95 ERA through three months. It is the fourth time he has been honored with a spot in the Midsummer Classic.
But because deGrom is scheduled to pitch Sunday in the Mets’ last game before the break, he is opting out of pitching at Coors Field. And he is leaning toward not traveling to Denver at all, skipping the related festivities and obligations.
"I don’t think it’s smart to go pitch in the All-Star Game," he said. "I’ve been a little beat up this first half and obviously missed a few starts that I wish I wouldn’t have missed."
DeGrom said the Mets’ trip to Denver and its thin mountain air in April was "kind of where this all started." A series of minor physical issues ensued: inflammation in his right lat, tightness in his right side, tendinitis in his right forearm, soreness in his right shoulder. None proved significant, but they have limited him to 14 starts.
Thus, he has little enthusiasm about an optional trip most of the way across the country.
"It’s just going to be talking it over and seeing what we think is the smartest and safest thing for me to do," he said.
That he already has been to the All-Star Game three times makes it easier to skip this one. "It’s a cool experience," deGrom said. "You’re around the best in the game. To be considered one of the best in the game, it’s a huge honor."
The likes of Taijuan Walker (2.44 ERA), Marcus Stroman (2.60) and Edwin Diaz (2.84) are eligible to be added to the All-Star rosters as replacements for deGrom and other dropouts this week.
"There should’ve been a couple more guys," manager Luis Rojas said. "Walker is one of them. And maybe Edwin Diaz . . . Those two guys deserve a shot to be on that roster."
The Mets put Sean Reid-Foley on the injured list with right elbow inflammation and called up Yennsy Diaz from Triple-A Syracuse. Reid-Foley had a 11.57 ERA in six games (seven innings) in June . . . Nick Tropeano, a West Islip native and Stony Brook product, was the 27th man for the doubleheader . . . The Mets activated Jonathan Villar (tight right calf) from the IL between games, optioning Albert Almora Jr. to Syracuse in his place. Rojas said sending down Almora, the Mets’ best defensive outfielder, was a "tough decision."