So far this spring, Jacob deGrom has pitched 10 innings. In those 10 innings, he has struck out 13 batters and allowed just one walk and five hits. His ERA sits at a cool 0.90 as he’s surrendered just one earned run, a solo home run by Brian McCann. Speaking with Abbey Mastracco of NJ.com, deGrom talked about that home run, the only run he’s allowed in 2017.
“A fastball right down the middle,” deGrom said. “That’s a pitch that you probably approach differently in the middle of the year. And if you take that same score, 2-1, with nobody on, maybe you throw something else there because you don’t care about walking them and trying to get a ground ball from the next guy. But in spring? It was 3-1, I threw a fastball.”
After ulnar nerve surgery this offseason, deGrom has shown that he is A-OK, sitting comfortably at 95-97 mph in the game against the Astros. With all the attention Noah Syndergaard and his 100 mph fastball is getting, it is easy to forget deGrom lurking right behind him. In a rotation full of aces, deGrom has been the most consistent over the last few years, tossing at least 140 innings each season since 2014 and posting a career 2.74 ERA.
“He’s like a video game when he’s getting ahead like that,” catcher Kevin Plawecki said. “He was getting ahead today and it gives us even more of an advantage to keep them off balance, especially when he’s not only throwing fastballs.”
He has been steadily improving despite having already pitched brilliantly in his career, and if this spring is any indication, that up-hill trend will continue. This year, I believe deGrom will reach the 200 inning plateau and strike out upwards of 225 batters while making his second All Star appearance.
Obviously Spring Training doesn’t mean too much in the grand scheme of things, however he has been throwing a lot more fastballs than he will be during the regular season and has still been extremely effective. It will be fun to see how deGrominant he is once he starts mixing his pitches, something he does very well. He has said he wants to throw more changeups this season, and staggered with his slider and curveball, it should prove to be a deVastating repertoire.