PHILADELPHIA -- Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom has experienced some shoulder soreness following his most recent start and will head to New York on Monday for tests. He will not make his scheduled start Tuesday.
deGrom went six innings and allowed three runs on seven hits Thursday against the Nationals, and said he felt stronger as the game progressed. The shoulder issue, deGrom said, didn't arise until the next day.
"Last start, I felt fine," deGrom said. "I actually felt like I got stronger at the end of the game. And then just playing catch these past couple of days, I felt a little something in there.
"I could probably go out there and pitch with it right now. But I think, just talking with them, at this time of the year, it's not really worth pushing it. If I can skip one and be 100 percent and let it calm down, that was what they kind of talked about."
deGrom said it was the first time he's felt the shoulder soreness this season, and that the discomfort was centralized toward the top of his shoulder.
"It's kind of just there all the time," he said. "When I throw I feel it. I mean I could throw, but I don't think it's anything serious at all."
"There's two sides," Mets manager Terry Collins said about deGrom's shoulder soreness. "He's not concerned about it, the trainers really aren't. I'm not overly concerned except he's a young kid whose got a sore shoulder. That scares me. So we're going to go get it checked and let the professionals tell us how it is. He wanted to throw a side [session] today and I said, 'No.'"
deGrom's replacement in the rotation has yet to be determined.
"I haven't really talked to [general mamager] Sandy [Alderson] about the candidates, so I'm not sure what his thinking would be on that," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said. "First thing we've got to see is whether this is a one start thing or more than one.
"We'll make our decision based on what we hear from the doctors."
If deGrom is out for just one start, the Mets may turn to a pitcher on their current roster. Carlos Torres was effective in nine spot starts for the Mets last season and would be a likely candidate to fill in for deGrom if the club decides to keep it internal.
If deGrom will miss more than one start, the Mets could call upon one of their younger arms at Triple-A Las Vegas -- either Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard. Montero, who is slated to start Monday, went 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts with the Mets earlier this year, but has a 2.28 ERA in his last four starts with Las Vegas. Syndergaard is scheduled to take the mound Tuesday for Las Vegas.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who spent two weeks on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation before being activated Saturday, is set to pitch for St. Lucie on Monday in his first rehab start and is not a plausible option..
The Mets were planning on limiting deGrom's workload toward the end of the season, so if nothing else, the skipped start will contribute toward that and spare him some innings.
"I think actually this may be, hopefully, a case where if we end up skipping a start, that just helps us with that," Ricco said. We were talking about doing that anyway. That may end up being the result of this where he misses a start and start managing his workload."
Erik Bacharach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.