Jacob deGrom
Syndication: Daytona Beach News-Journal

Here the Mets go again.

Star right-hander Jacob deGrom, who hasn’t pitched in a major league game since July 2021, has reportedly experienced a setback as he works his way toward a season debut. DeGrom has been sidelined with a right scapula injury since spring training.

MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports deGrom dealt with shoulder soreness this past Sunday, which will push back his eventual return to the big leagues (side note: Impeccable timing by the Mets leaking this as the All-Star Game began).

DeGrom threw four innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Syracuse last Thursday. Before the latest hiccup, there was thought he could pitch against the Padres on July 24 or make a July 26 start against the Yankees. But that is likely off the table.

At this point, who’s to say deGrom won’t just succumb to injury when he does return to the major league mound? Who’s to say he won’t leave with shoulder soreness (or any type of injury) in one of his first starts back? He’s experienced all these health issues for an entire calendar year, right?

When deGrom returns, it’ll be huge for a Mets ballclub looking to make a playoff push. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a fan not living and dying by every pitch he throws once that time comes.

Further health issues could cause the organization’s confidence in deGrom to dip with his Queens future on the line. The veteran ace may opt out after this season and explore free agency. If that occurs, Mets owner Steve Cohen and general manager Billy Eppler might just let their top pitcher walk while looking to retain healthy arms such as Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.