A bit lost in the shuffle due to the Mets offensive woes and the Juan Lagares situation, was the performance of Jacob deGrom, who tossed seven sparkling innings in his major league debut on Thursday night.
DeGrom, who came to the majors with far less hype and expectations than Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and even Rafael Montero, was poised and efficient during his debut, holding his velocity late into the game while breaking off an assortment of quality secondary offerings.
Overall, deGrom allowed one run on four hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out six.
The one run deGrom did allow should have an asterisk next to it.
In the seventh inning, deGrom induced what appeared to be an inning-ending double play off the bat of Brian McCann. However, Daniel Murphy charged slowly and David Wright‘s (the Mets were in a shift) relay throw to first base was poor – allowing McCann to reach. The next batter, Alfonso Soriano, doubled to left center to drive in the only run of the game.
Still, the focus should be on how good deGrom looked.
Most have said that deGrom’s future is likely in the pen (which is where he was headed before Dillon Gee got hurt), but that isn’t a reflection on deGrom’s ability. Rather, it’s due to the depth of solid starting pitching the Mets have throughout the organization.
One of the best scouting eyes around, Keith Law, thinks deGrom can stick as a starting pitcher – and Thursday night’s outing should shed light on why.
When Dillon Gee returns – likely on May 26 – the Mets will have a decision to make as far as the rotation is concerned.
Before both Montero and deGrom were called up, reports indicated that the Mets were more inclined to immediately shift Montero to the bullpen than deGrom.
If deGrom continues to perform like he did on Thursday, the Mets’ initial plan may be back in play.