Has Jacob deGrom gone from deGromination to deGrounder? Should New York Mets fans be worried?
Stop worrying Mets fans, deGrom will be fine.
Jacob deGrom burst onto the scene 2014 winning nine games, electrifying Citified and winning the 2014 MLB Rookie of the year in the National League. His success has continued through much of the 2015 season, but recently hard times have fallen upon the 27-year-old right hander.
Over his past five starts he has averaged only 5.2 innings per game with an inflated ERA of 6.52 over the span. Hardly the numbers of a guy who much of the season was being mentioned in the same breath as Zack Greinke.
Let’s keep it in perspective. During this five game stretch deGrom has had two awful outings against the Phillies and the Marlins. He also had three quality starts sandwiched in between those two bad ones. The numbers over the past five are bad sure, but the two bad starts were so poor that it makes his numbers over the past five look extra inflated.
Looking more closely at those three starts between the two debacles, while obviously he was not at his best he was not awful either. In those two starts his ERA was 3.31, certainly up from the rest of the season, but nothing to cause great alarm. He may not have dominated those nights, but he got through with guile and his stuff was good enough to go six or seven innings in those games.
So has his performance dipped? Certainly. But this is the Major leagues. Players go through slumps. It happens.
The guys on the other side of the ball get paid and are pretty good too. Could there be something wrong? Sure, but possibly nothing serious. It could be something simple, maybe he is tipping his pitches? Maybe his mechanics are off and affecting his control. It is possible that opposing hitters made some adjustments against deGrom and now deGrom needs to make some adjustments of his own. Or maybe he has a bit of tired arm. Who knows.
Let’s look last season. Many of you probably do not remember that deGrom had an ERA of 4.71 during the month of June. He also suffered through an ERA of 3.42 in August of this year. Nobody was writing him off then, and we shouldn’t now. If you are a believer in the law of averages then this dip in performance was probably expected. deGrom’s recent lack of production has raised his ERA to 2.64. Do you know where he finished last season? 2.69. 2.64 is mighty close to 2.69. That might just be his average.
Make no mistake about it, Jacob deGrom’s right arm will be a critical component if the New York Mets are going to achieve playoff success. So he must figure it out and figure it out fast. There has been way too much good from Jacob deGrom to make one think his recent struggles is something more than just a bump in the road, or a bad spot over the course of a long season.
There is not cause for concern, at least not yet. So stop worrying and enjoy the ride.
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