As the 2016 season winds down, injuries continue to pile up for the Mets, even as New York had begun to receive some good news with the returns of Lucas Duda and Juan Lagares. Prior to Saturday’s game against the Twins, GM Sandy Alderson announced that Jacob deGrom will need ulnar nerve surgery in his pitching elbow, effectively shutting him down for the remainder of the year, according to multiple news outlets.
Typically, ulnar nerve surgery requires a 3-4 month recovery time. deGrom had been slated to make his first start since September 1 on Sunday after dealing with forearm soreness. He reportedly felt fine after his 15-pitch bullpen session Friday, but his elbow flared up while shagging fly balls during batting practice.
Additionally, deGrom had been dealing with numbness in his fingers during his last five or six starts, John Harper of the New York Daily News reported. Through his last five starts, deGrom had an ugly 5.72 ERA, though his struggles became more pronounced over his last three starts, when he allowed 16 earned runs in 14.2 innings, including an eight-run bludgeoning by the Giants on August 18. Assuming his season is over, he finishes the year with a 3.04 ERA, 3.32 FIP, and 3.2 fWAR in 148 innings. He posted the lowest K/9 rate in his career at 8.7, and his average fastball velocity was 93.4—down from 95.0 a year ago.
The Mets are left with a patchwork starting rotation until Steven Matz potentially returns. For the time being, deGrom will be replaced by Gabriel Ynoa in the rotation. Ynoa will start Sunday against the Twins. Should Ynoa falter, other starting options will include Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin.