“Nothing wrong with him,” Callaway said before the Mets’ afternoon game against the Braves at Citi Field. “The M.R.I. looked good. He’s in a better spot than we thought with him coming out of the game last night.”
At the time he left the game, deGrom had shut out the Braves on two hits and struck out six, including striking out the side in the third.
“I said, ‘I don’t know if it’s smart to keep going,’” deGrom said. “I probably could’ve pitched through it, but it wasn’t smart. It’s still early. What’s the point of pitching through something and actually injuring yourself? I think it was kind of erring on the side of precaution.”
After an examination by the team doctor, David Altchek, deGrom echoed Callaway’s optimism on Thursday. “I feel pretty good,” he said. “Dr. Altchek said prepare as normal. So I’m looking to do some treatment today, play catch tomorrow and throw a bullpen on Saturday.”
Callaway stopped short of guaranteeing that deGrom would make his next scheduled start. “We’re going to really home in on him and make sure everything is 100 percent if he’s going to make his start on Monday,” Callaway said, adding that he had not yet considered a replacement starter if deGrom was unable to go.
The loss of deGrom, who is 3-0 with a 1.87 earned-run average, could have been devastating to the Mets, who have already lost catchers Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki and reliever Anthony Swarzak to injuries. But deGrom said he felt similar discomfort in the past after swinging and missing, without dire consequences.
“I’ve been injured before in the spot it was in, so I wasn’t as worried,” he said. “I knew this had got to be more of a muscle thing than structural. Looking back, I probably should have taken the pitch and struck out.”
It was the second time this week the Mets had dodged a bullet. On Sunday, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes jammed his thumb on a slide and was expected to miss several days. But Cespedes missed no time and homered in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Braves.