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The Mets’ season, a tale that has included as many strange turns as a Stanley Kubrick film, revealed another twist Saturday.
The right-hander Jacob deGrom will most likely miss the remainder of the season because of built-up scar tissue pinching the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. DeGrom, who had Tommy John surgery in 2010, will need more surgery to remove the scar tissue.
DeGrom said he wanted to consult with his agents, the Mets’ medical staff, Manager Terry Collins and General Manager Sandy Alderson before deciding when to have surgery, but he guessed that he was done pitching this season.
“We knew that it was something that was probably going to have to be done in the off-season, and we tried to put it off until then,” deGrom said before the Mets’ game against the Minnesota Twins at Citi Field.
Alderson said that the situation was not unusual for Tommy John patients, even as long afterward as it has been for deGrom, calling the scar-tissue removal “not a significant procedure.”
Minor surgery or not, it leaves the Mets’ rotation with only one young ace, Noah Syndergaard; a 43-year-old stalwart, Bartolo Colon; and a patchwork of unheralded prospects as they try to maintain a lead in the race for the National League’s last wild-card spot.
The news of deGrom’s injury came without advance notice.
Before Collins entered the news conference room at 4 p.m. for his standard pregame interview, Alderson walked in to announce that deGrom would be unavailable.
“Given the fact that this thing flares up at unpredictable times and under unpredictable circumstances, I think it’s unlikely he’ll pitch again this season,” Alderson said.
Alderson did not take questions, and Collins said that the ulnar nerve had not been a problem for deGrom throughout the season.
DeGrom, 28, had missed two turns in the rotation because of soreness in his right forearm after his start on Sept. 1. DeGrom has struggled recently, losing his last three games and allowing 16 earned runs on 31 hits in those outings. He is 7-8 with a 3.04 E.R.A. this season.
On Friday, deGrom threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session to test his arm. He said he had felt no pain. Collins said deGrom had looked “outstanding,” and he had slotted him to start Sunday afternoon.
DeGrom did some light running and then took his usual spot in the outfield to shag fly balls during batting practice. But after one catch, deGrom threw a ball back in and felt a stinging pain in his arm.
“I just tried to lob it into the bucket, and I guess throwing that bullpen and messing with that nerve, after I threw it, I was like, I got to go say something,” deGrom said.
DeGrom said that around early August, he had begun to feel occasional numbness in his fingers while pitching.