When the Mets added deGrom to the 40-man roster after the 2013 season, it meant an automatic invite to the 2014 big league camp. Rubin shares that while the odds are that Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lannan or Jenrry Mejia will claim the fifth-starter role in the Mets rotation, deGrom cannot be counted out entirely, given his sudden rise in such a short span of time.
The Mets signed deGrom in the 9th round of the 2010 June Amateur draft out of Stetson University. That October he had Tommy John surgery which caused him to miss all of the 2011 season. “Just coming back from Tommy John, that was a successful 2012,” deGrom tells Rubin.
“And then when I started in St. Lucie, I thought I’d probably end up in Binghamton to end the year. And then I got the chance to pitch in Vegas and pitched pretty well in the beginning. That helped me stay. And I was thankful for that opportunity.”
The right hander has pitched in 51 minor league games, while posting a 17-11 record, with a 3.76 ERA to go with 238 strike outs in 285 innings.
DeGrom comes into camp after he was found to have cartilage buildup behind the knee cap. After some anti-inflammatory shots this offseason and some rehab, he looks to be fine and continue his trek to the majors.
While he is only one level away from making his major league debut, and the odds look stacked against him, who knows. He may just surprise some people in camp and make the decision of choosing a fifth starter, that much harder.
Thoughts from Joe D.
I’ve enjoyed watching a few of deGrom’s starts last season and it was nice to see the organization push him as they did through the pipeline. He doesn’t overpower hitters with his 90-94 mph fastball, but he showed a great ability to spot his two and four seamers and pitch at the lower end of the strike zone. He induces a lot of groundballs when his command is working, and he looks to have ditched his slider for a curve which was more effective for him. Ultimately, I see him as a solid bullpen option and that sinker could serve him well in that role. As for this season, I see him making his MLB debut and maybe he can even win a spot in the Opening Day bullpen to serve as backend reliever with potentially some spot starts down the road, similar to how the Mets used Carlos Torres last season. Let’s see how his Spring goes…
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