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New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom takes significant step towards 2022 return

Matt Johnson
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets suffered their biggest injury before the 2022 MLB season even began, losing ace Jacob deGrom to a stress reaction in his right scapula weeks before Opening Day. New York has found a way to sit near the top of the MLB standings and things are about to get a lot better.

Already on the verge of getting Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer back in the rotation, deGrom isn’t too far behind. The Mets have taken a very cautious approach with the face of their pitching staff, taking slow steps along the way.

It all seems to be paying off. The 34-year-old progressed from bullpen sessions days apart to a multi-inning throwing session, testing how his arm held up to it all. Everything is going well and with scans on his shoulder coming back clean, the next step is ahead.

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Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that deGrom is throwing live batting practice to hitters on Saturday. It marks the second time he faced batters, with the first coming on Tuesday.

When will Jacob deGrom return?

This is a vital step in the process. Scherzer faced live hitters for the first time in early June and threw a three-inning simulated game on June 16. Without any setbacks, he then began his rehab assignment with his first start on June 21, Now, the future Hall of Famer is scheduled to rejoin the Mets’ rotation in the first week of July.

After facing live hitters Saturday, the Mets will give deGrom a few days off to see how he feels. If all goes well, he might throw a multi-inning simulated game next week. After that comes a rehab assignment in the minor leagues.

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Realistically, fans shouldn’t expect deGrom back in the New York Mets rotation until after the All-Star Break. He isn’t going to be rushed, likely eased back into things with three rehab stars. If everything goes well and he avoids setbacks, a return to the mound at Citi Field against the San Diego Padres (July 22-24) or New York Yankees (July 26-27) seems possible.