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Jacob deGrom to undergo MRI

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The star right-hander felt some pain in his right elbow on Thursday.

MLB: New York Mets at Chicago Cubs Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob deGrom is headed back to New York for an MRI on his elbow after experiencing some discomfort while playing catch. The Mets described the pain as “barking”, and “do not have a high level of concern” about their ace per Andy Martino. Mickey Callaway added that deGrom might have pitched through the injury later in the season, but there was no reason to push things just 18 games in. Regardless of the outwardly calm demeanor from the Mets, this is extremely concerning news. Fresh off winning the Cy Young award, deGrom is by far the steadiest presence in a starting rotation filled with question marks, particularly at the back end.

If deGrom is to miss any time, the Mets’ thin starting pitching depth chart will be tested. Corey Oswalt and Drew Gagnon have already pitched a couple innings this season with poor results, and other options like Chris Flexen or Hector Santiago in Triple-A haven’t had much (or any) recent major league success. Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman could also be candidates to step back into the rotation if things get desperate. None of these options are ideal, evidenced by the fact that none have already placed the struggling Jason Vargas.

The most viable rotation options are most likely not currently in the organization. Mike Minor has been connected to the Mets, but with few concrete trade rumors. Gio Gonzalez is expected to opt out of his contract with the Yankees this weekend and recently hired Brodie Van Waganen’s fomer agency. Most notably, Dallas Keuchel is still available and willing to accept a one year deal. None of these players are equivalent to deGrom, but the Mets will need to commit more financial resources to the rotation if this injury is anything significant.