ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom’s return for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers has been pushed back until at least late June after the two-time National League Cy Young Award winner was transferred to the 60-day injured list Monday.
DeGrom hasn’t pitched since April 28, when he exited early because of injury concerns for the second time in a span of three starts. He was placed on the 15-day IL the following day after an MRI showed inflammation in his right elbow.
Rangers general manager Chris Young said deGrom “hasn’t improved maybe as quickly as we had hoped” after five bullpen sessions since going on the IL. Another MRI and additional testing are now planned for the 34-year-old righthander the Rangers signed to a $185 million, five-year contract last December.
The transfer to the 60-day IL makes June 28 the earliest he could be activated.
“We don’t see anything before that as a possibility,” Young said. “We want to make sure that we proceed cautiously.”
DeGrom was back with the team Monday after going home to Florida for the birth of his third child. He flew there after a bullpen session Wednesday in Detroit, which was his fifth since going on the IL.
Young said that deGrom has dealt with some soreness during those sessions.
“There have been good days and bad, as with most recoveries,” Young said. “I don’t know specifically how he felt in the bullpen [in Detroit]. I heard the ball was coming out well.
“Honestly, he’s going through a life moment at home and this is one we didn’t call checking in every hour to see how he was doing.”
The Rangers signed deGrom in free agency after he had played his first nine big league seasons with the Mets. He was limited by injuries to 156⅓ innings over 26 starts his last two years in New York.