Based on last year’s performance, Jacob deGrom deserves to be the Opening Day starter, but it’s a credit to manager Mickey Callaway handle on things that the start goes to Noah Syndergaard.
Despite deGrom throwing in the high 90s Sunday in his first exhibition start after a two-week delay with back stiffness, Callaway saw no reason to play charades and push him. What’s the purpose, especially when Syndergaard is healthy and throwing in the 100s?
All too often the Mets pushed pitchers to be ready for the start of the season – you only have to think back to Matt Harvey last year – with disastrous results.
DeGrom will start the season’s second game against St. Louis.
“We think that’s a pretty good one and two coming out of the gate,’’ Callaway said. “We were trying to do everything we can because he earned it based on last year. It just didn’t make sense to us to try and push it, and to get him ready for Opening Day.’’
Harvey and Jason Vargas will take the next two spots in the rotation with Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman competing for the final slot.