Mets ace Jacob deGrom was scratched from his scheduled Saturday start and instead will be placed on the injured list and undergo an MRI exam on his pitching elbow, according to New York manager Mickey Callaway.
Callaway told reporters before a Friday road game against the St. Louis Cardinals that deGrom felt pain while playing catch on Thursday and said his right elbow was "barking." The Mets sent deGrom back to New York on Friday, and he will undergo the MRI exam on Monday.
Callaway said the team will proceed cautiously with deGrom, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010.
"We're not sure exactly what it is, so we want to get it checked out," Callaway said. "He's just a little tender in the elbow. We don't know if it's just from general fatigue, so we're being overly cautious at this point. We have 90 percent of the season left and feel no reason to push him too much at this point. There's just no reason to do it."
Callaway said Thursday's session was the initial time deGrom felt the pain.
According to ESPN, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen anticipates that deGrom could return April 26 for the start of a home series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Callaway also told reporters that while he has yet to decide on a starting pitcher for Saturday, Noah Syndergaard will make his scheduled start Sunday in St. Louis and Steven Matz will make his scheduled Monday start against Philadelphia.
DeGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, was roughed up badly in each of his past two starts to see his ERA soar to 3.68.
After allowing no runs and eight hits over 13 innings while winning his first two starts, deGrom allowed nine runs and 13 hits in nine innings over the past two. Most alarming was that he served up five total homers in the two setbacks.
The 30-year-old right-hander recently signed a five-year, $137.5 million extension.
DeGrom posted a spectacular 1.70 ERA and struck out 269 in 32 starts last season while winning the Cy Young Award despite having a 10-9 record.
--Field Level Media