The New York Mets have had...an unfortunate set of events unfold over the last month or so. It was not that long ago that they were heavy favorites in the National League East thanks largely to uninspired play from basically the entire division. They acquired Javy Baez at the trade deadline to try and give their offense a boost and they were hopeful that Jacob deGrom, the best pitcher on planet Earth when he is healthy, would be returning to the field.
Flash forward a month or so and instead of the healthy 3-4 game lead in the division for a large chunk of the season, they find themselves below .500 on the season and looking up from third place at the Phillies and the now red-hot Atlanta Braves who enjoy a four game lead in the NL East. Javy Baez did not play well in limited action with the club before hitting the injured list and Jacob deGrom’s timeline to return kept getting pushed back.
Now, its confirmed that deGrom still won’t be back for a while.
The #Mets claimed Heath Hembree on waivers from the #Reds (he was Cincy’s closer 3 weeks ago vs. the NYM). To make 40-man roster room, Jake DeGrom was moved to the 60-day IL. #Mets said he is eligible to return from IL 9/13 "and his status and timeline remain unchanged."— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) August 20, 2021
For a club looking for answers to their woes, this is less than ideal news. Given the word out of the Mets regarding deGrom in recent weeks, the timing of his return isn’t THAT surprising but it does lock in the fact that deGrom isn’t going to be swooping in to save the Mets’ season until at least mid-September and that is assuming that there are no setbacks. As for Hembree, he is a very decent waiver wire addition that should help the bullpen out as the Mets enter the stretch.
Before he was hurt, Jacob deGrom was in the middle of one of the best seasons we have ever season from a pitcher. In 15 starts (92 innings) this season, deGrom has posted a 1.08 ERA with 146 strikeouts and just 11 walks. In short, he was a cheat code.