Neck issue prompts Mets to push back Jacob deGrom in rotation

August 12, 2016: New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) in the dugout during a regular season National League game between the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets at Citi Field in Flushing, NY. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire)
David Hahn/Icon Sportswire

Already down one of their starting pitchers, the New York Mets are rearranging their rotation to accommodate another’s pain issues. But Jacob deGrom is not yet disabled list-bound. He’s just being pushed back in the rotation.

Due to neck stiffness, deGrom won’t make his scheduled start on Friday night against the Washington Nationals at home. Instead, Matt Harvey will start tonight on his normal rest, the team announced Friday. The Mets tentatively have deGrom scheduled for Saturday night’s Nationals game.

This news comes after a masterful deGrom performance. The fourth-year pitcher struck out a career-high 13 batters last Saturday against the Marlins. He went seven innings in what turned out to be a no-decision. Terry Collins cited the fact that the Mets have three pitchers coming off surgery as the reason he pulled deGrom, who had thrown 97 pitches, after seven frames.

One of those surgically repaired pitchers, deGrom is off to a strong start to begin Year 4 in the Mets’ rotation. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 1.89 ERA after 3 starts and 19 innings. After undergoing elbow surgery for an injury that brought his 2016 season to an early close, deGrom has struck out 22 hitters while walking just 4.

The Mets are currently playing without Steven Matz, who has not pitched this season. Matz began a throwing program earlier this week but doesn’t have a concrete timetable for a return. Seth Lugo is on the same schedule. He also has not pitched this season. However, Harvey and oft-unavailable Zack Wheeler have made their scheduled starts this season.

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