New York Daily News

PLAYING IT SAFE Mets cancel deGrom session due to sore groin

- BY KRISTIE ACKERT

PORT ST. LUCIE — Jacob deGrom was held out of drills and skipped his scheduled bullpen session on Monday because of what he described as tightness on the left side of his groin. The Mets and the righthande­r downplayed their level of concern about the injury, but with this group of talented pitchers who were pushed in making it to the World Series last season, any ache or pain will be addressed.

“That’s why we brought them in early, for something like this,” Terry Collins said Monday afternoon. “They are going to be sore, or have issues like this, then let’s get it done. Let’s get it taken care of early. Let’s ease them into shape. His bullpen the other day was lights out, so we know his arm is fine.”

Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen summoned deGrom into the manager’s office Monday morning, telling him they wanted him to take the day and rest. For his part, deGrom did not seem at all concerned about it, just laughing and joking when first asked about missing out on the morning of tedious pitchers’ fielding practice.

“I could have gone, but they wanted to be careful. It’s just a precaution, I felt some tightness and they did not want to aggravate it,” deGrom said. “It’s so early and better to skip this and rest than to have it be an issue later.”

The righthande­r, who went 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA in 2015, said he felt the ground give out under him a little the other day while running and thinks that may have been what caused the tightness. He said he continued running and never thought of it until he woke up with soreness.

“I slipped running the other day. I don’t know if that did it or not. I don’t know if it was that specifical­ly or something else,” deGrom said. “It was just a little sore. I went in there and got it iced we decided it was best to take it easy today and get back out there tomorrow.”

DeGrom did throw long toss Monday morning and Collins indicated deGrom would throw long toss again on Tuesday and wait a few days before throwing off the mound again.

Monday was an example of how careful

the Mets are being with their young aces. With concern about the careerhigh innings they each threw, Collins asked to bring them in a few days early to slow down the normal spring training progressio­ns. He expects to push them back in terms of getting ready for games. DeGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaar­d, Steven Matz and Bartolo Colon will likely not be pitching in the first week of Grapefruit League games.

Collins said that is when he will look at guys like Logan Verrett, Sean Gilmartin and Rafael Montero. Those pitchers who could be in the bullpen or in TripleA will be the first call if anything happens to the starters or the Mets decided to use the six-man rotation again before Zack Wheeler is back from Tommy John rehab in July.

Collins has told the pitchers seemingly blocked by this star rotation that this spring is a chance to earn his trust in case the Mets needs help this summer.

“The rotation is set, there is only one job in the bullpen open, that may be true today on paper, but you don’t know what your importance is as we get into the summer,” Collins told them. “We’ve got five starters right now and we got Zack Wheeler coming. That doesn’t mean that guys in this room are not going to make an impact.

The Mets are hoping those opportunit­ies will be limited and will be protecting the starters all spring to make sure they get their starters to the season healthy.

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 ?? HOWARD SIMMONS/ DAILY NEWS ?? Jacob deGrom (l.) doesn’t
stay on mound for
long as Mets cancel hurler’s throwing session.
HOWARD SIMMONS/ DAILY NEWS Jacob deGrom (l.) doesn’t stay on mound for long as Mets cancel hurler’s throwing session.

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