Jacob deGrom will be moving up the ranks in his next rehab start.
A day after making his second start with Single-A St. Lucie, deGrom reported feeling “good” on Saturday, according to Mets manager Buck Showalter, putting the team’s co-ace in line to make his next outing on Wednesday or Thursday for Triple-A Syracuse.
The Mets were not yet ready to commit to which day, but deGrom will extend his workload to four “ups,” meaning pitching into the fourth inning at least.
Coming back from a stress reaction on his right scapula, deGrom threw three shutout innings Friday night with six strikeouts on 36 pitches. That came after he struck out five in 1 ¹/₃ innings and 24 pitches with St. Lucie in his first rehab start on July 3.
If everything continues to go according to plan, deGrom will return to the Mets after the All-Star break. It remains to be seen how the team will handle the potential final step in his rehab assignment, since the minor leagues take the same All-Star break as MLB. That means deGrom would not have an affiliated game in which to pitch for five days after his next start, though the Mets could make up for that by setting up a simulated game.
Jeff McNeil was out of the starting lineup Saturday, but the Mets will soon be without him when he leaves for the birth of his first child.
With his wife, Tatiana, expecting, McNeil could go on the paternity list after the game Sunday against the Marlins and miss at least the beginning of their next series, which starts Monday in Atlanta.
“I’m sure nine months ago they didn’t look at the schedule — I hope not,” Showalter said Saturday, before the Mets beat the Marlins 5-4 in 10 innings. “This is something a lot bigger than baseball.”
Saturday wasn’t a full day off for McNeil. He pinch-hit for Ender Inciarte in the eighth inning with runners on the corners and flew out to shallow center field. He then spent the rest of the game in right field.
Showalter said he expects McNeil to be back in the lineup on Sunday before taking his leave. Saturday was McNeil’s second day out of the starting lineup since he recently missed a week with hamstring tightness.
Entering Saturday, McNeil led the Mets with a .317 batting average — which ranked sixth in the majors and third in the National League — to go with a .822 OPS that was second on the Mets behind Pete Alonso.
Full All-Star Game rosters will be announced on Sunday, with Alonso, McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Edwin Diaz and Taijuan Walker among the Mets in consideration.
Reliever Chasen Shreve, whom the Mets designated for assignment on Tuesday, was given his unconditional release on Saturday.
— Additional reporting by Mike Puma