With the rotation fully healthy (no jinx here!) heading into the final two weeks of Spring Training, Jacob deGrom has been proving why he may be the best pure pitcher in New York’s entire staff.
With deGrom currently sporting a 2.93 ERA through 15.1 innings pitched this spring, he has obviously penciled himself in as the 2nd starter in this stacked rotation.
With the velocity of Matt Harvey still down after he returned from his thoracic outlet syndrome surgery this spring, deGrom has essentially been slotted behind Noah Syndergaard, who will be the Opening Day starter for the Mets on April 3rd against the Atlanta Braves.
Let it be known that while Harvey is dealing with velocity issues, deGrom has earned his spot as the number 2 starter on this team.
While he was dealing with his own injuries last season, deGrom has always been looked at as the man in the rotation that may not have the nastiest stuff, but gets the job done. His stuff may not be filthier than Steven Matz or Syndergaard, but he is a dominant pitcher when he is on his game.
“From the start, when he first came down here, he’s been throwing great.” –Terry Collins
With a career ERA at 2.74 through 76 games pitched, deGrom, who didn’t have his best stuff last season, still pitched to a 3.04 ERA through 24 games. With his strong spring, he should be viewed as a dominant force of a rotation that could be the best in baseball.
While Mets fans know his true worth to the franchise, others should realize that deGrom could possibly be the best pitcher on this team. He isn’t someone who is high slotted in a rotation because Harvey isn’t 100% yet. He is where he is because of the kind of pitcher he has become.
While he may not have the swagger of Harvey, or the electricity of Syndergaard, deGrom has solidified himself as a pitcher who strives under pressure. He proved to us all during the 2015 postseason that while he may not have his best stuff, he still battles through and produces.
And if this spring is any indication that he is healthy, deGrom could be the driving force behind a stacked rotation already.