The New York Mets brought back Max Scherzer last week as they gear up for a heated NL East race with the Atlanta Braves. Jacob deGrom might not be too far behind.
Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, deGrom will make his next rehab start Thursday for the team's Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse.
The 34-year-old has yet to pitch this season after doctors discovered a stress reaction in his right shoulder in late March.
He made his first rehab appearance on July 3, striking out five of six batters faced in Single-A. He followed up that outing with six punchouts in three scoreless innings Friday.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner reportedly threw as hard as 101 mph.
When healthy, deGrom was nearly untouchable last season. The righty recorded an unfathomable 1.08 ERA through 15 starts, tallying 146 strikeouts to just 11 walks in 92 innings.
While the Mets jumped out to a huge early lead in the NL East, Atlanta has surged back to cut the deficit. Now down just 1.5 games, the Braves could move into first place by sweeping their three-game home series, starting Monday night.
There's no timetable for deGrom's big-league return yet, but he could potentially make his 2022 debut soon after next week's All-Star break if all goes according to plan. Having him and Scherzer atop their rotation would be a major boost for their contention hopes.