New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom showed off pre-elbow injury stuff in his season debut against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.
He threw six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and one walk with six strikeouts. He has allowed one run or fewer in 36 of his first 77 career starts. The 36 such games are third most for a pitcher in his first 77 career starts since 1913. Only Dwight Gooden (38 such starts) and Jose Fernandez (38 such starts) had more in their first 77 career starts.
The best sign though from deGrom was the velocity he showed early in the game, hitting above 97.1 MPH twice in the first inning. Something he didn’t do once during the entire 2016 season. (Note that MLB announced different velocity calibrations for 2017 that could be adding up to one MPH on past readings).
Whether it’s really 96, 97 or 98, it’s a positive for someone that hovered around 93/94 MPH last season.
“Last year it was all I could do I felt like to get to 93, 94,” deGrom said after the game.
Another positive from deGrom’s first start of the season was the late bite on his slider that he used to success on multiple occasions to back door lefty hitters.
It was certainly a step in the right direction for the 28-year old coming off ulnar nerve transposition surgery.