Just days into Spring Training last week, Jacob deGrom, who signed a $185 million deal in the winter, already suffered an injury setback after tweaking a muscle in his side during a bullpen session. The team has been taking extreme caution with the right-hander since, but it appears he’s already returning to the mound.

Via Alex Plinck:

“First bullpen for Jacob deGrom is… tomorrow in Surprise which to people on the outside is a surprise.”

Considering deGrom’s injury history, it’s definitely a surprise the Rangers are already letting him throw off a mound already. After all, this is a guy who has pitched fewer than 160 innings across the last two seasons because of health issues. Sure, he’s been lights out when available, but staying injury-free is clearly a problem.

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Nevertheless, Texas splashed the cash on one of the most dominant pitchers in the sport, who compiled a 3.08 ERA in 11 starts in 2022, striking out a whopping 102 hitters in 64.1 innings. Rangers GM Chris Young didn’t sound too concerned last week when discussing the latest setback for Jacob deGrom:

“It’s as much about day one of spring training as anything,” Young told reporters Wednesday, via the Dallas Morning News. “We’re more about planning for March 30. It’s cold and wet, and we’re going to have to alter some of what we do anyway. He’s six bullpens in. He’s competitive and wants to be out there. This probably says more about me than it does him.”

Although it may not seem serious, Texas must be careful with deGrom. It would be an absolute shame for him to get hurt again because he figures to be a massive piece at the top of this rotation. Hopefully, deGrom is on the hill come Opening Day on March 30th against the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that knows him extremely well.