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Friday, April 01, 2022

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom to miss significant time with stress reaction in shoulder

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom will miss Opening Day after an imaging test showed a stress reaction in his right scapula.

In a statement, the Mets said deGrom won’t throw for up to four weeks and then will be re-evaluated.

DeGrom, 33, is widely regarded as the best pitcher in baseball. In 15 starts last season, he posted a 1.08 ERA and in 92 innings struck out 146 batters and walked just 11. But a variety of injuries caused him to miss starts, and elbow pain sidelined him for the entire second half.

The scapula, or shoulder blade, is a vital bone in the pitching process. Stress reactions, which are injuries to bones typically brought on by repeated movement, are rare in pitchers’ shoulders. Typically, stress reactions are healed through rest.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2022 at 04:26 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jacob degrom, mets

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   1. Jeff Francoeur's OPS Posted: April 01, 2022 at 04:33 PM (#6070010)
   2. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: April 01, 2022 at 05:05 PM (#6070018)
When life gets rough, I like to hold on to my dream
de Grom pitching in the summer sun, just throwing that steam
Oh, the sky will be blue, and you guys'll be there too
When he finally does what Jacob de Grom does in summer
I'm gonna tell him (don't you dare)
In summer
   3. Russlan is not Russian Posted: April 01, 2022 at 08:25 PM (#6070038)
Season Over.
   4. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 01, 2022 at 08:42 PM (#6070041)
medical question: so what is it? Like an inflammation? it doesnt sound like a fracture.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: April 01, 2022 at 09:08 PM (#6070046)
some caller on WFAN claiming to be a physical therapist said this diagnosis was "like shin splints, but in your shoulder."

the idea being, after a full month of rest, the stress might go away.
of course, then he'd effectively have to start spring training so....

caller aays the shortened spring training period may have led deGrom to be too aggressive in his daily routine.

thanks, Manfred!

also, this seems appropriate for the Mets Fans Self-Immolation Thread
   6. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 01, 2022 at 09:23 PM (#6070052)
Knowing the Mets medical staff, the initial diagnosis was probably "excess of black bile" or something.
   7. The Duke Posted: April 01, 2022 at 09:26 PM (#6070053)
4. It's a terrible injury. Mostly because it's recurring. Michael Wacha was a bright shining star for St Louis and once he got diagnosed he never recovered his abilities. There was another pitcher before him that had it and also fared poorly. The issue is that they seem to need to get the pitcher to change the angle of delivery in order to relieve the pressure that causes the problem. If you have to drop down and throw more side arm it screws everything up.

I recall Wacha went through multiple start/stops just like Degrom is doing before they finally just rebuilt his pitching motion.
   8. The Duke Posted: April 01, 2022 at 09:30 PM (#6070056)

Check this article out for the gory details
   9. Ron J Posted: April 01, 2022 at 09:33 PM (#6070058)
#5 I popped in to ask why the Mets Fans Self-Immolation Thread wasn't in Hot Topics.

But man this sucks.
   10. Rough Carrigan Posted: April 01, 2022 at 10:41 PM (#6070068)
#6, I have it on good authority that it focused on his phlogistan.

This sounds reminiscent of what happened to Luis Tiant. He was the AL's Bob Gibson in 1968 and threw absolute fire. He had an off year in 1969 (by the standards
of his seasons before 1968, too) and then early in 1969 actually broke his scapula on a pitch. It took him almost three years and multiple teams to come back and then when he did his arm was good but not the same and so he learned to throw from a hundred different permutations of pitching motions and arm angles to make up for it. Roger Angell had a great piece describing them. Anyway, maybe DeGrom should watch some old Tiant footage.
   11. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 01, 2022 at 10:45 PM (#6070070)
they played that Tiant footage in the lead up to the 1975 world series. I had never really seen him before but it was impressive the highlites they had.
   12. Vailsoxfan Posted: April 01, 2022 at 11:21 PM (#6070075)
I am a physical therapist. A stress reaction is basically a precursor to a stress fracture. If he keeps pitching with it, it could progress to the bone fracturing. Much more common in the tibia with running sports. Shin splints can prgress to stress fractures. Not a good diagnosis. Not that common in non weight bearing joints like the shoulder. Most likely not the kind of thing a few weeks of rest is going to fix.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: April 02, 2022 at 12:52 AM (#6070078)
thanks for post 12.

I'll take an anonymous post here over an anonymous sports radio caller, but we look for any 'news' we can get.

the caller did say that this was not a bone issue (yet, from what you explain), if that means anything.
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 02, 2022 at 05:52 AM (#6070081)
Matt Harvey also had this injury, but it was after all the other injuries he had. This wasn’t the thing that derailed his career.
   15. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 02, 2022 at 09:14 AM (#6070084)
deGrom will now miss a significant part of his age 34 season in 2022. He's got two Cy Youngs, was Rookie of the Year, and has finished in the top nine in the CYA six of the last seven seasons, and the top ten of the MVP twice. He is a joy to watch...and (approaching age 34) has a grand total of 198 games started and 77 wins. The best of deGrom is among the most dominating pitching stretches I've ever seen.

Here is the question: Who was the last pitcher to be this good for this long...but have a combination of bad luck (like lack of run support), play stoppages, and injuries derail his career to the point where he is...34 with 77 wins and 198 career starts?

This isn't like a guy who was a shining star briefly, but an injury ended it (like Mike Fidrych). My first thought was Bret Saberhagen - but entering his age 34 season, he had started 315 games, thrown 2,250 innings (1,000 more than DeGrom), won 141 games...I think deGrom is such a unique case, but maybe I'm forgetting a few players.
   16. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 02, 2022 at 10:23 AM (#6070086)
Spud Chandler. Got an even later start than deGrom. Had injuries and WWII, but was fantastic when not injured or fighting a war . Played his who career for the Yankees, so I assume he did not lack for run support. played until 39, 109 wins, 184 starts, 132 career ERA+.
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2022 at 10:25 AM (#6070088)
   18. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2022 at 03:57 PM (#6070108)
#15 ... of course you get the effects of the change in pitching usage. If DeGrom had come along in the 60s, he'd have 50-75 more starts and 300-400 more innings at least. And then there's also not much point putting the age restriction on it -- DeGrom is already near unique in the "didn't make the majors until age 26 then was the best pitcher on the planet" category.

Sam McDowell didn't even make it to 34. From 1964-70 he was very good (9.5 K/9 in the 60s) ... in 238 starts and 1700 innings. He didn't completely break -- pitched some in each of the next 5 seasons -- but had just 82 starts, 600 innings of 95 ERA+ left in his arm. Through 25, his record was 76-48, very close to DeG's 77-53.

Gary Nolan is sort of the bizarro DeGrom. From ages 19(!) to 24, 166 starts, 1150 IP, 127 ERA+. He threw 10 innings at 25, none at 26, came back for two solid seasons at 27-28, was done at 29. He led the league with 8.2 K/9 at 19 ... I wasn't baseball conscious yet but that's Gooden/Feller type stuff. Put Nolan 19-25 with DeGrom 26+ and you get about 365 starts, 2400 innings, 140 ERA+, 153 wins.

The King of Late Bloomers is Randy Johnson but of course he pitched a lot in his 20s, everybody knew "if he ever puts it all together ..." and he had a much heavier workload in his top seasons. Spahn is another great late bloomer (due to the war if nothing else) but threw over 2500 innings 26-34 and lasted forever.

Maybe Bob Gibson as the closest -- he didn't get his first full ML season until 25, age 37 was his last "Bob Gibson" season, CYA at 32 and 34. He wasn't actually THAT heavily used by the standards of the time (never led in IP or GS, only once in CG). But again, usage was completely different then and he had 300 starts, 171 wins and over 2400 IP for 26-34.

(Oops, should have used 26-33 to comp to deG, not gonna go back and correct.)
   19. The Duke Posted: April 02, 2022 at 04:48 PM (#6070115)
Sandy Koufax and Johan Santana probably belong in the bloom late and flame out early category.
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 02, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6070117)
At least the Mets have a proven veteran starter in Max Scherzer available to step in on Opening Day. Oh, wait:
Max Scherzer was scratched from his spring training start today because of a tweaked hamstring, writes’s Anthony DiComo. After the news of Jacob deGrom’s injury yesterday, there would be no more devastating update for the Mets than a Scherzer injury, but all accounts say that the injury is not serious.

Scherzer himself would not set a timetable on his return, with a video clip of Scherzer speaking to reporters provided here by Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. Scherzer would not rule out being ready by opening day, but he would neither commit to it.
That seems a bit iffy, but it might be time to revisit the Mets Self-Abuse Thread.

EDIT: I now see Howie has indeed raised the issue, but unlike the old days, the thread was already way down the Hot Topics list.
   21. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 02, 2022 at 05:27 PM (#6070120)
Takumi Otomo was a right-handed sidearm pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants in the 1950s, and one of the best pitchers in Japan during that era. He first pitched in the Industrial Leagues, and didn’t make it to the Giants until he was 25. In 1953, at age 28, he was the winner of both the Central League MVP Award and the Sawamura Award (the Japanese version of the Cy Young Award), going 27-6 with a 1.86 ERA, and winning Game 7 of the Japan Series to give the Giants the championship. In 1955, he won 30 games, but his career came to a halt in 1956 at age 31, when he was hit by a pitch and fractured the thumb on his pitching hand. He never recovered, developing arm problems, and winning only eight more career games after that season. He ended his career with a record of 130-57 and a 2.11 ERA.

A bit of trivia - he established a dominance over one team that is probably the most extreme example of beating another team I’ve ever seen. His lifetime record against the Hiroshima Carp was 41-3, with an 0.93 ERA. He beat them 18 times in a row, lost once, and then beat them 12 more times in a row. Of his 130 career wins, 41 came against the Carp.
   22. Lassus Posted: April 02, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6070121)
I'll say it: I wonder if he's done.
   23. BDC Posted: April 02, 2022 at 06:01 PM (#6070124)
Smoky Joe Wood started 158 big-league games, went 117-57 (including relief obviously). He had one awesome year but only started 30 games in one other season; yet for five other years his ERAs and W% were outstanding, he was just starting 15-18 games a year, not much even today and certainly not in the 1910s.

So perhaps DeGrom can come back as a journeyman outfielder.
   24. Howie Menckel Posted: April 02, 2022 at 06:39 PM (#6070126)
and when deGrom is in his 80s, he can watch a Cape Cod League game featuring pitching phenoms Ron Darling IV and Frank Viola IV alongside Roger Angell....
   25. bachslunch Posted: April 02, 2022 at 07:54 PM (#6070132)
Interestingly, DeGrom and Jack Morris currently have the same BBRef WAR, at 43.5 -- DeGrom doing so in less than one-third the number of innings: 1261.2 to 3824.0.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2022 at 08:13 PM (#6070135)
I guess I wouldn't put Johan in the same category of late bloomer as DeGrom. I can see why you would but in the majors at 21 because of rule 5, obviously being treated gingerly at 21-22 ... then for whatever reason the Twins continued to do it. You can't say they were wrong since it worked out so well but he was in the majors, pitching regularly, pitching well. Also no matching deGrom in being essentially done at 31. But yeah, in career totals and shape, a good comp, better than Nolan.

Koufax might be the "most unique" career in MLB history. Or at least pre-Ohtani. :) But yes the total career totals/shape are a reasonable comp to DeGrom after adjusting for usage.
   27. The Duke Posted: April 02, 2022 at 08:34 PM (#6070138)
Scherzer is now down and the Cubs Wade Miley is out as well. It's almost as if being injured at the end of the year is a bad omen for the beginning of the next year.

I'm sure there will be a few more names pretty soon. Going from 0-60 in a few weeks is probably not good for arms
   28. Buck Coats Posted: April 02, 2022 at 09:46 PM (#6070156)
The first guy I think of is Brandon Webb - only lasted 6 seasons, 2003-2008. 1319 innings (50 more than deGrom), 142 ERA+, 87-62, 1 Cy Young and 2 2nd-place finishes.
   29. djordan Posted: April 03, 2022 at 09:44 AM (#6070179)
#28, spot on. Webb has been all but forgotten. The interesting sideshow for this season will be how deGrom handles the opt-out now.
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 03, 2022 at 09:51 AM (#6070181)
DeGrom got a late start because he didn’t start pitching until his junior year of college. He had been a light hitting shortstop until that point. But he’s very different from other late bloomers and I was hoping he’d avoid the serious injury bug because his arm had a lot less mileage on it.
   31. Walt Davis Posted: April 03, 2022 at 03:36 PM (#6070206)
Yep, Webb is a great comp.
   32. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: April 03, 2022 at 04:20 PM (#6070208)
Webb is I think the WAR leader among players who's entire career took place in a single numbered decade. For those who count it properly. All years have the same 3rd digit. Addie Joss had 14 more, but he pitched in 1910.
   33. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: April 03, 2022 at 06:29 PM (#6070228)
I'll say it: I wonder if he's done.

Even if he's not, will he ever be enjoyable to watch again? I've got a feeling we'll be watching him through clenched fingers and hyper-analyzing every twitch and grimace from here on out.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: April 03, 2022 at 07:52 PM (#6070239)
The interesting sideshow for this season will be how deGrom handles the opt-out now.

well, he just claimed he definitely was opting out anyway.

but it's not like he formally locked himself in on that. I do expect him to do that, cause that's how he rolls.
   35. John DiFool2 Posted: April 03, 2022 at 08:06 PM (#6070241)
DeGrom got a late start because he didn’t start pitching until his junior year of college. He had been a light hitting shortstop until that point. But he’s very different from other late bloomers and I was hoping he’d avoid the serious injury bug because his arm had a lot less mileage on it.

Hmm. I wonder if his arm had TOO little mileage on it, then. We all know the dangers of overworking young pitchers, but they still need to build up their endurance during those formative years too-pretty fine balancing act I'd say. Yeah, anticipating the upcoming caveat when someone mentions a pitcher who converted from another position at a relatively late age yet remained healthy for years...
   36. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 03, 2022 at 08:38 PM (#6070244)
I can never forget Brandon Webb - I was at this game from the Tigers' 119-loss season.

Webb threw a 108-pitch complete game with 23 ground ball outs. Yes, 23. He also recorded two air outs (one an infield popup with RISP by current Tigers manager AJ Hinch) and two K's.

In the top of the sixth inning, Arizona's first batter, Alex Cintron, reached second base on an E8. I vividly remember that play. Cintron hit a Texas Leaguer, CF Alex Sanchez came charging in, SS Ramon Santiago sprinted out, and the two men collided. The ball struck Santiago on his back as both were falling down. It was the 2003 Tigers in a nutshell.
   37. Karl from NY Posted: April 04, 2022 at 03:20 PM (#6070303)
I'll say it: I wonder if he's done.

Like, you can guess "he's done" on just about any pitcher injury bigger than a blister and probably be correct at least one time in five or so.
   38. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 04, 2022 at 04:12 PM (#6070310)
Don Gullett would make 22 starts a year, and get wins in most of them. Like Brandon Webb, he did all his damage in a single decade.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: April 05, 2022 at 02:58 AM (#6070385)
Gullett has to be one of the winningest teammates ever. In his second season, the Reds went 79-83. In the other eight seasons of his MLB career, the fewest number of games his team won was 95.

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