Taijuan Walker’s next start, weather permitting, will come one week after his back issues began in Atlanta. Buck Showalter said that Walker is feeling well enough to get the start on Tuesday in the second game of the Subway Series.
“If the weather cooperates, he’s scheduled to pitch for us tomorrow,” Showalter said before Monday’s game at Yankee Stadium. “A lot of factors figured into it. With Tai, 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.”
That plan means that the team will push Jacob deGrom, who was originally going to go on Tuesday, to Thursday against the Rockies.
“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. “We’re trying to be careful.”
Showalter gave himself some wiggle room on the actual day, saying Friday is also in play, but the ideal plan has him throwing on Thursday. Either way, the manager said, the Thursday and Friday games will be deGrom and Chris Bassitt, though he’s not 100% on the order yet. Getting Walker back for Tuesday, plus the team’s off day on Wednesday, means both deGrom and Bassitt would have extra rest between starts.
“We don’t think it’s a bad thing for Jake and for Bass, with the amount of innings that Chris has had this year, to give everybody a bit of a blow,” Showalter reasoned. “We’ve gone a long stretch here where these guys haven’t gotten much extra time.”
Showalter is also cognizant of the fine line between being rested and getting rusty. But he also knows that the only thing that really matters — even though winning the division is extra important now with the first-round byes in the playoffs — is what the Mets do in the postseason.
“September’s around the corner,” Showalter reminded. “I think we have 39 games left and we’re trying to keep everybody healthy.”
NIDO STAYING READY
Tomas Nido is close to getting over his case of COVID-19. The catcher has not played since Aug. 13, though he’s been doing some unusual baseball activity.
“He’s very close to getting his issue behind him,” Showalter said. “He simulated catching the other day in the cage. When our guys squatted he stayed squatted and basically watched the game in the cage and followed every squat and every reception from the machine. He pretty much caught the game. I hope he didn’t catch that last one [in Philadelphia]. I guess he simulated a rain delay.”