New year, same horrendously bad luck for the New York Mets starting rotation.
It took a little over a month, but the franchise plagued by injuries to their promising starting rotation saw its first big name go down on Wednesday night after Jacob deGrom hyperextended his elbow while at-bat against the Atlanta Braves.
Despite reporting the pain to manager Mickey Callaway in the bottom of the third, deGrom went out to pitch the top of the fourth before leaving the game visibly agitated. He was replaced by Paul Sewald the following inning.
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"He came in, he said 'you know what, my arm hurts on that last swing, so I"m just not going to swing the rest of the night," Callaway said. "He said it feels fine throwing. He hadn't had any issues throwing, so he went back out."
The team initially announced that it was a hyperextended elbow before receiving good news on Thursday. An MRI revealed that there was no ligament damage to deGrom's elbow.
Initially, the team believed that he would be able to make his next start on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds but opted to hold him off until next Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
While Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler all went down with injuries last year, deGrom remained the only healthy contributor as the only Mets pitcher to throw over 200 innings. He went 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA with a career-high 239 strikeouts.
He had been a flat-out ace to start this year, going 3-0 with a 1.87 ERA while striking out 54 in 43.1 innings of work. He was as close to untouchable to get as one could get at the time of his injury, recording 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
Suddenly the Mets' rotation is trending in the wrong direction. The team designated Matt Harvey for assignment on Saturday while Jason Vargas has an ERA of 16.20.