Jacob deGrom let everyone in the Texas Rangers organization take a sigh of relief.
The former Mets ace threw from a mound on Thursday morning in what was his first session of camp after being held out of spring training activities due to tightness in his left side.
The throwing session was low-effort but “silky smooth,” per the Dallas Morning News, as he made 22 pitches to bullpen catcher Patrick Cantwell. After the session was complete, deGrom shook hands with Cantwell and pitching coach Mike Maddux.
“Fifty or 60 percent is fine,” Maddux said, per the Morning News. “It’s just about getting on the mound and throwing downhill.”
The two-time Cy Young winner (in 2018-19, both with the Mets) has battled nagging injuries throughout much of his career in between stretches of dominance. DeGrom hasn’t made more than 15 starts in a season since 2019, though he hasn’t had an ERA over 3.08 since 2017.
The Mets tried to re-sign the 34-year-old, but deGrom opted to join the Rangers instead on a five-year, $185 million contract. However, he showed up to spring training last week reporting of tightness and was held out of activities for the first week.
It remains to be seen how quickly the team will ramp deGrom back up to full baseball activities, with the beginning of the regular season still over a month away. In his time off, deGrom missed two bullpen sessions and a live batting practice.
“We’ll be able to catch up, no problem,” Maddux told the Dallas Morning News.
The Rangers open their season at home against the Philadelphia Phillies on March 30. One would imagine that if deGrom is fully healthy, he would be on the mound for that game.