PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets scratched starter Jacob deGrom from his scheduled start in Lakeland, Fla., with what the team described as back stiffness. deGrom, who threw a bullpen session back at Port St. Lucie in place of his start, called the move "precautionary," saying afterward that he plans to throw in the bullpen again Thursday or Friday.
This is the second injury of camp for deGrom, who also missed time last month due to a minor leg strain. The Mets have not announced when he will make his next start, but they do not consider the issue serious; deGrom's next turn would be scheduled for Sunday against the Red Sox, and his optimism late Monday morning suggests that he will make it.
In deGrom's place Monday, Seth Lugo started against the Tigers, making the five-hour round-trip bus ride to Lakeland -- a ride that deGrom said he hoped to avoid given his back discomfort. Lugo struck out two and didn't allow a hit over two scoreless innings during the Mets' 9-2 loss.
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deGrom, 27, was 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA last season, following up his 2014 National League Rookie of the Year Award-winning campaign with an All-Star appearance. He told reporters that he blamed the back issue on a soft mattress, which he replaced on the recommendation of teammate Matt Harvey.
"I had to switch something up," deGrom said, "and that seemed to work."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.