SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The New York Mets will be without one of the sport's most dominant pitchers to start the season.
Jacob deGrom will miss significant time because of inflammation in his shoulder area, a huge blow to a team that heavily invested in making a deep run this season.
“He’s disappointed. We’re disappointed. Everybody is sharing in the disappointment right now. Nobody’s immune to that,” Mets general manager Billy Eppler said.
New York's ace won’t throw for up to four weeks and there is no timetable for his return, the team announced Friday. The Mets said an MRI earlier in the day showed a stress reaction on his scapula that caused inflammation.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner had been set to start the season opener Thursday in Washington. The Mets had considered their rotation a major strong suit this season after signing three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer and trading for All-Star Chris Bassitt.
“I think the good news is here there is nothing structurally wrong here, as far as the rotator cuff or anything like that is concerned. We are dealing with a bone issue and when you are dealing with bone, they calcify. The healing characteristics will take of themselves, so I think that’s a positive that we walk away with,” Eppler said.
After getting off to a sensational start last year, deGrom didn’t pitch during the second half because of a sprained elbow. He was 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA in 15 outings, but New York collapsed without him to finish 77-85 after leading the NL East for 103 days. His final start was July 7 against Milwaukee.
The right-hander reported to camp healthy this year and had permitted one run over five innings in Grapefruit League games, striking out 10. His most recent outing was Sunday against the Cardinals.
UMPS ON THE MIC
Major League Baseball said that umpires will conduct in-park announcements during replay reviews this season. The decision was delayed two seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A crew chief will have a wireless microphone and first announce the call being challenged and which team initiated the challenge. After the review, the crew chief will announce the result.
Audio will go over ballpark public-address systems and be made available to broadcasters.
MLB was the last major pro sport in North America to institute replay when it began late in the 2008 season for home run calls. Video reviews were vastly expanded for the 2014 season.
DODGERS ADD KIMBREL
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired eight-time All-Star reliever Craig Kimbrel from the Chicago White Sox for outfielder AJ Pollock.
Kimbrel was 4-5 with 24 saves in a combined 63 games with the Chicago Cubs and White Sox last season. The Cubs shipped him across town at midseason in exchange for Codi Heuer and Nick Madrigal. Kimbrel was 2-2 with the White Sox with one save in 24 games.
Kimbrel rediscovered the form that made him one of the game’s best closers and was named to his eighth All-Star team last season.
The 33-year-old right-hander was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. He led the league in saves from 2011 to 2014. Kimbrel ranks ninth all-time in the majors with 372 saves as he begins his 13th season.
Pollock hit .282 with 65 home runs and 199 RBIs in three seasons with the Dodgers. The 34-year-old outfielder’s best season came last year, when he batted. .297 with 21 homers and 69 RBIs in 117 games.
D-BACKS, KELLY AGREE TO CONTRACT
Right-hander Merrill Kelly has agreed to an $18 million, two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks that covers the 2023 and 2024 seasons with a club option for 2025.
The 33-year-old Kelly will be paid $8 million per season in 2023 and 2024. He also gets a $1 million signing bonus and there’s a $1 million buyout if the team doesn’t exercise his option for 2025.
Kelly is from Scottsdale and played in college at Arizona State. He was arguably the team’s best pitcher in 2021, going 7-11 with a 4.44 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 27 starts. He has a 23-27 record with a 4.27 ERA in three seasons with the D-backs.
ODDS AND ENDS
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson will serve a two-game suspension when the season starts next week for making contact with umpire Tim Timmons during the ninth inning of a game on Sept. 27. Anderson will miss games at Detroit on April 8-9. The penalty was reduced from the original three-game suspension. ... The Toronto Blue Jays extended manager Charlie Montoyo’s contract through the 2023 season. ... Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Guardians’ home opener against the San Francisco Giants on April 15. It will be Cleveland’s first home game since dropping Indians, the team’s name since 1915.
AP freelancer Chuck King contributed to this story.
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