NEW YORK — The New York Yankees will no longer have to deal with one of the best 1-2 punches in the game with Jacob deGrom’s start pushed back in favor of Taijuan Walker for Game 2 of the Subway Series in the Bronx on Tuesday.
New York Mets manager Buck Showalter said that the move was necessary in order to deal more effectively with the number of injuries that have affected the club’s rotation recently. Max Scherzer started the series opener on Monday.
DeGrom’s next start will be pushed back to either Thursday or Friday. Showalter said deGrom is currently scheduled to start Thursday at Citi Field against the Colorado Rockies, but it will all depend on the response they get from the two-time Cy Young winner.
« The feedback we get from [deGrom]and everybody, on where he is, the torque and the things you do to create what he creates, » Showalter said before Monday’s game against the Yankees, explaining that Chris Bassitt could be slated for Thursday if deGrom’s start is pushed to Friday.
« We’re trying to be careful, » he added. « We don’t think it’s a bad thing for Jake and for Bass. We’ve gone a long stretch here where these guys haven’t gotten much extra time. »
Walker did not make his scheduled start on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies after having left his start against the Atlanta Braves last Tuesday after only two innings. Walker left the game because of back discomfort due to a small « bulge in the disk, » which he repeatedly referred to as a minor issue.
« If the weather cooperates, he’s scheduled to pitch for us tomorrow, » Showalter said. « With Tai[juan], you don’t want him to get too far away from pitching and lose his arm strength, and some of the things that you might lose if you get too far away from it. That was the primary reason. »
Showalter emphasized that since the Mets are also dealing with the absence of starter Carlos Carrasco, who will be out at least three weeks because of an oblique injury, it might be wise to split his two aces, deGrom and Scherzer.
« Until we get Carlos back and make sure that Tai is OK, it’s one of those things [that] if you plan too much, there’s nothing given, » he said. « If you go by track record, it probably makes sense to split those two guys up. »
Elsewhere on the Mets’ pitching staff, banker-turned-reliever Nate Fisher, 26, was cut after a memorable debut on Sunday. Now completely off the 40-man roster, Fisher could be traded or placed on waivers during a seven-day period. If unclaimed, he could be assigned outright back to the minors with the Mets.
In his first appearance, the lefty, who had once given up his hopes of a baseball career for a job in the financial world, threw three scoreless innings of one-hit relief in a Mets victory.
Fisher, who wasn’t drafted out of the University of Nebraska, pitched 12 games at Single-A for the Seattle Mariners organization in 2019. And this year in the Mets system, he was 0-1 with a 3.77 ERA in 12 games at Double-A Binghamton and 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 games at Triple-A Syracuse before his call-up prior.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.