ST. LOUIS – New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom was scratched from scheduled Tuesday night start against St. Louis because he struggled to loosen up when he started stretching before his outing.
Mets manager Luis Rojas said deGrom did a scan that showed inflammation of the latissimus dorsi muscle, a back muscle that connects the upper arm to the spine and hip.
DeGrom won’t throw for a couple of days.
“And then he will be able to throw, maybe throw a side, and then that will determine when his next start will be,” said Rojas.
Rojas said he learned of the issue about eight hours before the Mets’ scheduled game against the Cardinals, which was later rained and postponed as part of a single-entry double header on Wednesday.
“It’s positive that it came back, that it’s just inflammation. It’s a few days away from throwing, as recommended by the doctor,” said Rojas. “He’s also optimistic about what’s next after the two days off.”
Before a scan, Rojas described the illness as a tightness.
“I saw him before he came on the field and he stretched and tried to feel his right side a little. Then we started discussing whether he was going to start or not,” said the manager.
Rojas said the problem wasn’t apparent until Tuesday.
DeGrom, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, was baseball’s most dominant pitcher this season, with a best ERA of 0.51 in five starts. He has 59 strikes in 35 innings with just four walks. Even so, he’s only 2-2 as New York continues to struggle to get runs for him.
The 32-year-old right-handed man has hit 100 mph on 46 of 473 pitches this season and lowered his career ERA to 2.55, overtaking Hall of Famer Tom Seaver (2.57) as the Mets career leader.
Marcus Stroman will start the double header opener and Rojas wasn’t sure who would start the second game. Right-handed Jordan Yamamoto, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, was one possibility.
Miguel Castro, usually a helper, was supposed to start in deGrom’s place on Tuesday. The game was postponed at the beginning and called after a waiting period of 38 minutes.
Right-handed Sean Reid-Foley was elected to Syracuse.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.