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Jacob deGrom ‘bumped 98′ early on road back to Rangers’ rotation

(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)


ARLINGTON — Manager Bruce Bochy occasionally makes his way to the Rangers’ bullpen before games to watch pitchers, usually those who are injured.

He’s even stood in the batter’s box to give pitchers a sense of facing hitters.

On Friday, he made his way beyond the wall in right-center field to watch right-hander Jacob deGrom, who has been throwing bullpen sessions for about two weeks on his way back from Tommy John surgery.

“I wanted to start him in five days,” Bochy said. “That’s how well I thought he threw. He bumped 98.”

That might not seem like much, considering that deGrom routinely tops 100 mph when healthy. But the two-time Cy Young winner is still weeks away from making his season debut after having Tommy John in June 2023 for the second time in his career.

DeGrom didn’t seem particularly moved by the velocity during the 25-pitch session. He said that he will move to 30 pitches twice a week beginning next week, and he will also start mixing in changeups after being on a fastballs-only diet.

“I’m trying to be smooth and just have good mechanics,” he said. “That’s what we worked on this whole rehab. Yesterday felt like the most dialed in on the mechanics I’ve been.”

Command is often the primary concern for pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery. Bochy didn’t see any reason to be worried about deGrom, who is one of the game’s premier command pitchers.

“He was comfortable at 95 to 97, it was nice and easy, and he was locating well,” Bochy said. “It was impressive to watch.”

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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