Jacob deGrom ready to put 2016 behind him

Jacob deGrom left Citi Field Wednesday night with the same uncertainty as everyone else. The righthander — whose season ended with surgery to move the ulnar nerve in his elbow — is sure he will be back. After three months, he will begin throwing as normal when he gets to Port St. Lucie for spring training.

He’s just not sure what team will be assembled when he gets there. DeGrom said he, like most in the clubhouse, has no idea what Yoenis Cespedes will do. The Cuban slugger can opt out of his three-year deal with the Mets until the third day after the World Series.

“I feel like he’s a tough guy to read,” deGrom said. “I guess we all are, but I really didn’t get any indication.”

While many expect Cespedes to opt out, since it makes the most financial sense, deGrom hopes that the Mets find a way to get him back

“We’d love to have him back. He’s a big bat in our lineup, that definitely helps us out a lot,” deGrom said Friday morning. “It will be interesting to see what happens. We would enjoy having him back.”

DeGrom said he will be ready to begin normal throwing when pitchers report to spring training next February and, like most of the Mets, he is eager to put 2016 behind him. It was a season plagued by injuries for the team, but also a frustrating one for him. It made him pause and think hard about Terry Collins theory about the stress from 2015’s run to the World Series taking a physical toll this year.

“That’s tough to say. Talking to the doctors, I don’t know what really caused this. He said it can pop up like that. Your nerve can get messed up, but there was definitely stress last year,” deGrom said. “This was definitely a funny year for me. My son was born, then he had the breathing issues. My (strained) lat after my first start, then this nerve, it was a strange year. Just hopefully healthy for next year.”

About 11 months ago, fresh off losing the World Series to the Royals, deGrom was talking confidently about the World Series the “next year,” too. The Mets’ exit in the Wild Card game was jarring, he said.

“There was definitely some disappointments for me this year, for other guys too. I wasn’t able to stay healthy,” deGrom said. “Would have loved to have been out there to help the team. I tried and I couldn’t do it. We get everybody back healthy. David (Wright) was out most of the year. (Lucas) Duda, (Matt) Harvey.

Jacob deGrom surprises the students at PS 89 in Queens on Friday.

Jacob deGrom surprises the students at PS 89 in Queens on Friday.

“We get them back healthy and we’ll be ready to go next year”

DeGrom was at PS 89 in Queens Friday morning, surprising Julian Cruhigger and his fifth class as part of a back-to-school promotion with New Era caps. Cruhigger’s mother Sandra Trujillo won a contest to have deGrom visit her son.

The 28-year old new father handed out backpacks, hats and autographed pictures. The fifth-graders then had 20 minutes to ask him questions. DeGrom was asked his advice for kids being bullied and “besides pitching for the Mets,” what were his accomplishments.

When asked for his dream pitching match-up, deGrom said that he would someday like to pitch against teammate Noah Syndergaard. Afterwards, deGrom doubled down with a challenge to his teammate.

“Definitely want to pitch against him,” deGrom added, “because I want to face him and hit a home run off him.”

Deep breaths Mets fans, who panicked at the idea of their two aces on opposing teams. DeGrom is not a free agent until 2021 and he told the kids at PS 89 that he loved his team and would love to play in New York his whole career.

For, now, however, deGrom is just as curious as everybody else to see if Cespedes will be back with the Mets for the rest of his career.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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