Jacob deGrom Injury Update
Fantasy baseball players had their souls crushed already and the 2022 MLB season hasn't even started. Jacob deGrom MRI results are in and it's not good. The best pitcher on the planet will, once again, be out for an extended period of time as a report from MLB Insider Jeff Passan says, the MRI revealed that deGrom has a stress reaction in his right scapula and will be shut down from throwing for a month before being re-evaluated. This means that in a best case scenario he will be out until mid-May, but I think it’s safe to assume that we could be looking at a longer stint than that. Both the New York Mets and their fans dread hearing this news in what looked like a very exciting roster heading into the season with high hopes of contending for a World Series Title.
DeGrom’s ADP was 14 over the last two weeks on NFBC, making him a late first round or early second round pick in most drafts. That is a huge blow to anyone who drafted him with the hopes of him being their ace. This is really starting to look bad for him as this will now be his third straight season of missing significant time after pitching 200-plus innings in three straight seasons from 2017-2019. No starting pitcher, or any pitcher for that matter, has more talent that deGrom, but that doesn’t matter if he can’t stay on the field. You have to just hold onto him and hope that he will be back on the mound in two months because there really isn’t much of an alternative as he is not someone that you can drop entirely based on this injury.
Who is Jacob deGrom's Replacement in the Mets Rotation?
Tylor Megill immediately steps into the Mets starting rotation as deGrom’s replacement. There is actually a lot to like here with Megill. He racked up 92 strikeouts and a 3.52 ERA across 71.2 inings at the minor league level in 2019 and had 59 punch-outs with a 3.35 ERA across 40.1 innings at the minor league level in 2021 before making his debut last season. He made 18 starts as a rookie last year, pitching to a 4.52 ERA with 99 strikeouts across 89.2 innings of work. As you can see, he has the ability to strike a lot of guys out and that should continue this season. He has looked great in Spring Training too (for what that’s worth), pitching 6.2 shutout innings with seven strikeouts across two outings. His fantasy baseball ADP on NFBC over the past two weeks was sitting at 325, but you can expect that to skyrocket now that he has a spot in the Mets rotation on lock. Looking over the other pitchers ADP’s, I would be willing to draft Megill in the 180-210 range at this point, given his strikeout upside and the fact that he pitches for a team that is expected to win a lot of games. If you have already drafted and he is available on your waiver wire (probably only available in 8 and 10-team leagues), I would go grab him as quickly as you can.
The Rest of the Mets Rotation
The biggest benefactor of the injury is easily Megill, but this does change some things for a few of the other arms on this Mets staff as well. David Peterson now becomes an interesting pitcher for deep leagues. Peterson moves from being seventh in line of starting pitchers for the Mets to sixth and just one injury away from being in the rotation. The lefty struggled last season as he pitched to a 5.54 ERA, but he did have 69 strikeouts across 66.2 innings of work and he pitched really well in 2020 with a 3.44 ERA across 49.2 innings. He is a former first round pick in the MLB Draft and he has a 3.63 ERA across 247.2 innings at the minor league level. He is someone to consider in 15-team leagues or in draft champions leagues that go really deep into the player pool.
The injury also means Max Scherzer will start Opening Day now. That doesn’t have any impact for fantasy purposes, but it is worth noting. Losing deGrom makes the Scherzer signing all that more important for the Mets and still gives them a strong starting rotation that should be able to hold down the fort until deGrom is able to make his return.
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