PITTSBURGH — Jacob deGrom will be well-rested when he next pitches for the Mets, but the precise date of that scheduled occurrence remained unclear before Friday’s game at PNC Park.
The Mets announced rookie Tylor Megill as their Saturday starter against the Pirates, but were holding off on naming a pitcher for Sunday.
Manager Luis Rojas said deGrom would pitch Sunday or Monday, but was waiting to receive more information before setting the schedule. DeGrom, who rejoined the team at the ballpark rather than in New York a day earlier, threw a light bullpen session before Friday’s game, which is usually his practice three days before a start. His full bullpen session occurs two days before his starts.
Taijuan Walker would be on normal rest Sunday — after pitching one inning in the All-Star Game — if deGrom is held for an additional day. The Mets open a three-game series Monday in Cincinnati.
Rojas was asked why deGrom — who last pitched on July 7 — wasn’t his starter for the first game of the second half.
“I think the thought process is he’s going to get the same number of starts and he’s going to be able to see our division more in the second half,” Rojas said. “That was the thought process of potentially having him for Sunday, if not Monday, but that is the way it’s lined up. He will have the same amount of starts, so we’ll see how he is.”
DeGrom dealt with three separate physical issues that limited his workload in the first half. Rojas was hopeful the time off reenergized the right-hander, who has pitched to a 1.08 ERA this season. But Rojas also warned the team must remain vigilant.
DeGrom was physically fine as he departed for the All-Star break, according to Rojas.
“We had some thoughts about him potentially pitching [last] Sunday, but those never developed,” Rojas said. “He wanted to take the time off and we wanted it from a medical standpoint as well, knowing what he dealt with for some of the starts, so he could take the rest and come in fresher for the second half.”
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