NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom's pins-and-needles wait is over. The Mets pitcher departed Citi Field early Monday afternoon to join his wife, who was in labor in Florida with the couple's first child.
The Mets did not initially anticipate putting deGrom on Major League Baseball's paternity leave list; doing so would forfeit their ability to backdate a potential disabled list stint for deGrom, who is nursing a sore right lat muscle. But after asking a quintet of pitchers to contribute 7 1/3 innings Monday in relief of Steven Matz, who recorded just five outs in a 10-3 loss to the Marlins, the Mets began re-evaluating their options.
"We might need some help," manager Terry Collins said.
Though the club does not expect deGrom to require a DL stay, the Mets originally felt keeping that option open would supersede the benefit of recalling an extra reliever or bench player from Triple-A Las Vegas. Monday's bullpen-burner changed that, with Hansel Robles throwing 52 pitches, Antonio Bastardo adding 39 and Addison Reed firing 25. All three of those pitchers could be unavailable Tuesday, in addition to Logan Verrett, who is currently in the bullpen but scheduled to start Wednesday.
Luckily for the Mets, they have a well-rested and experienced arm at Las Vegas in Sean Gilmartin, who has not pitched since April 1. deGrom's situation means the Mets could call up Gilmartin without optioning Robles or anyone else to the Minors, simply by placing deGrom on paternity leave.
The only downside would be forfeiting the ability to backdate a potential stint on the disabled list for deGrom, who could start for the Mets as soon as April 19. But at the time of deGrom's departure to Florida, the Mets were optimistic that his injury was not serious enough to warrant a DL stint.
The Mets could also still order an MRI for deGrom once he returns to New York, should his sore right lat, which he injured during Friday's home opener against the Phillies, continue to bark. For now, they will allow deGrom to rest at home and enjoy his baby's birth, with the hope that he will be ready to pitch soon after his return.
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.