Jacob de Grom will start for Metz on Tuesday

After a 391-day wait, one of baseball’s best pitchers will finally pitch in a major league game. Jacob de Grom, a two-time National League Cy Young Award winner who last played for the Mets on July 7, 2021, is scheduled to return from injury on Tuesday night against the Nationals in Washington.

In what felt like his best season yet, deGrom missed the final three months with an elbow injury in his arm. He entered spring training in 2022 healthy, but days before the season opener, he was placed on the injured list again, this time with a stress reaction in his right shoulder.

Degro, finally healthy and armed with a plan to stay that way He met with journalists ahead of his season debut on Sunday. He told them it “didn’t take long” for his shoulder to feel good, but he and the Mets’ training staff took a deliberate approach to his recovery.

“We took a look at why we thought that happened with the rapid rise,” he said, referring to the delayed and drawn-out spring training caused by a labor dispute between Major League Baseball’s owners and players’ union. “We played it safe, took extra days and made sure everything was where we wanted it to be. This way, there were no delays. “

DeGrom, who had a 1.08 earned run average over 92 innings last year, told reporters he was confident he could stay healthy for the remainder of this season. She added: “Everything healed and I felt good throughout the process.”

He also reiterated his expectation to use the opt-out clause in his five-year, $137.5 million contract extension, leaving aside the $30.5 million owed in 2023 for the possibility of a bigger deal.

DeGrom, 34, returns to a Mets team that remains in first place in the NL East but has seen its lead over the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves shrink. The Mets regained another key contributor, Max Scherzer, from the injured list in early July. And the front office, which has added several small pieces to the roster, may still be active ahead of Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline.

“Definitely excited,” deGrom told reporters. “It’s been a long time. It’s been quite a slow process coming back. It’s been exciting to be there. I’m not nervous yet, but I’m sure I’ll be quite nervous on Tuesday and I feel like it’s going to be my debut.

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