CLEVELAND -- A 25-pitch bullpen session Friday was not enough for the Mets to make a definitive determination regarding the state of Jacob deGrom's sore right lat muscle. So the Mets have scheduled deGrom to throw another more intensive bullpen Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., at which time they will decide whether he can make his next start.
Still, Mets officials were not optimistic Friday evening that deGrom would be able to pitch, indicating that Logan Verrett will be the starter in Philadelphia.
"It is what it is," manager Terry Collins said. "You always hope day to day that something can be determined. We've just got to have a little patience."
The Mets have effectively been playing with a 24-man roster since deGrom pulled his lat muscle April 8 in New York. They could have placed him on paternity leave at the time thanks to the birth of his son, giving them an extra player for up to three days. But the team did not want to forfeit its ability to backdate a potential disabled-list stint.
Instead, the Mets demoted a bench player, Eric Campbell, to make room for an extra reliever, Rafael Montero, while deGrom stayed down in Florida with his wife. Rather than immediately place deGrom on the DL, which would have assured him of missing a second straight start, the Mets chose to play shorthanded for the better part of a week.
"He's a big piece of the puzzle," Collins said. "He needs to throw a little bit more of a full 'pen to make a determination where he's at, so we'll wait until Sunday."
If deGrom indeed cannot pitch in Philadelphia, Verrett will take his place after pitching six innings in a no-decision Wednesday against the Marlins.
• Yoenis Cespedes was limited to designated-hitter duty Friday, because his knees were still sore from flying into the stands Wednesday in New York. Alejandro De Aza took Cespedes' place in center field, batting eighth.