Jacob deGrom hasn’t been completely ruled out of Sunday’s first-half finale, but an extended rest appears to be the Mets’ preference for their ace.
After the Mets split a doubleheader against the Pirates on Saturday, manager Luis Rojas provided little clarity on his pitching plans for Sunday other than to say a bullpen game or opener was a possibility.
DeGrom, who started Wednesday against the Brewers, would be pitching on short rest if he were utilized Sunday. But the Mets have the option of using him in a short appearance in place of a throw day.
“We are leaning toward not having him throw until the second half right now,” Rojas said. “That is how we are leaning, just not to have him on short rest, not to have him in any type of exposure out there and just prevent anything from happening. We already had three things happen in this season, so it can be a little risky to push some things.”
Rojas has not announced his rotation to start the second half, but deGrom isn’t expected to pitch the first game, on Friday in Pittsburgh. It’s more likely the right-hander, who is skipping the All-Star Game, will pitch next Saturday or Sunday.
J.D. Davis may join the Mets in Pittsburgh next weekend, but he won’t necessarily be their everyday third baseman. Davis, who has missed the past two months with a left hand injury, has been continuing a rehab assignment at Triple-A Syracuse.
In Davis’ absence, the Mets have received satisfactory play from Jonathan Villar and Luis Guillorme, among others, at third base.
“[Davis] will get a chance to play third,” Rojas said. “We tried him at first, too, we also think of his versatility, he’s played in the outfield too. I think moving around will serve well for him.”
“You always want to have J.D.’s bat in the lineup, but I can’t say right now that he’s the third baseman. I feel that everyone we have here is an everyday player right now. Everyone is getting a chance to play, we’re rotating, so J.D. is going to come in and he’s going to be a part of that rotation as well.”
Rojas said he was surprised to hear Francisco Lindor’s comments, in which the shortstop referenced the booing he has received this season. Lindor heard cheers Friday after hitting the team’s first grand slam of the year.
“He knows how passionate our fan base is and he wants to please them, he wants to give his best,” Rojas said. “I’m sure he can share his emotions when he does something great like hitting a grand slam, his first grand slam as a Met, so it kind of surprises me that he’s been carrying some things in there. On the other hand it doesn’t surprise me how excited he is that he’s giving the fans what they want from him.”