DeGrom set for season debut against Nationals

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom will make his 2022 major league debut Tuesday against the Washington Nationals, manager Buck Showalter told reporters Sunday.

DeGrom, who has been sidelined all season by a stress reaction in his right scapula, threw 67 pitches over four innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday.

He told reporters Sunday he was looking forward to making his return.

“It’s been a long time,” deGrom said. “This has been a pretty slow process of coming back, so excited to be out there. Nerves haven’t really set in yet, but I’m sure Tuesday I’ll be pretty nervous.”

DeGrom has not pitched for the Mets since July 7, 2021, missing the second half of last season with right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow, then going down late in spring training this year with the scapula injury.

He has made four minor league rehab starts totaling 12⅔ innings, two at Single-A St. Lucie and two with Syracuse. He has allowed five runs (four earned) and seven hits with 21 strikeouts and four walks, hitting 100 mph on the radar gun even in his first outing.

“I think more than anything feeling for him and the emotions he’s going through,” Showalter said. “It’s been a long haul for him, knowing how hard he’s worked and how frustrating it’s been. You know how much he likes to compete and pitch.”

Before his injury setbacks, deGrom was one of the dominant pitchers in the sport. He won consecutive Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019 and has a career 77-53 record and 2.50 ERA in eight major league seasons.

Pitching Tuesday lines up deGrom to pitch on full rest in a potentially pivotal five-game series Aug. 4-7 at home against the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves. The Mets entered Sunday with a three-game division lead over the Braves.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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