Central New York baseball fans got a treat on Thursday night as two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom toed the mound for the Syracuse Mets at NBT Bank Stadium.

Making a rehab start as he battles back from a should-strain that's kept him off a big-league field for the entire first-half of the season, the 34-yaer-old hurler threw four impressive innings, striking out four and yielding two hits and a run. He also registered triple-digits on his fastball a few times.

It was everything Mets fans wanted - no injuries, not tweaks despite going full throttle.

Barring any setbacks, the New York Mets hope to activate deGrom soon. According to one MLB insider, it may come when the Mets host their crosstown rivals at Citi Field at the end of this month (July 26 and 27), leaving room for another test beforehand.

St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
Jacob deGrom, Getty Images
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However, the bridge to what would be his 2022 season debut may come in the form of a simulated start, not an another 'rehab assignment'. While it is possible Buck Showalter would have deGrom throw an extended start with Triple-A affiliate Syracuse again, it is probably more likely his final assessment before making it back to the bigs will come in a controlled setting, not a LIVE game, something Insider Jon Morosi discussed on MLB Network Thursday:

...would likely be a simulated setting coming up here around the All-Star break at some point, just to make sure he gets a little bit more lengthened out in terms of his innings. So perhaps next week he’ll have that sort of pseudo-rehab start. And then, I love this: among the possibilities for Jacob deGrom’s first start of the season, I mean this sincerely, is at Citi Field, against, yes, the New York Yankees in a Subway Series game late this month. So again, the final week of July, there is two-game Subway Series at Citi Field, Yankees at Mets. I think we’ll probably be paying a little bit of attention to that series, and Jacob deGrom might be on the mound.”

A stress reaction in his shoulder suffered in his final pre-season outing this spring has left the Mets without deGrom's usually dominant-arm. Despite his absence, the Mets raced out to a 10.5 game division lead in the N.L. East but their advantage has since been cut to 2.5 games (entering action on Friday).

Max Scherzer, another pitcher with plenty of Cy Young hardware of his own, is now back with the MLB club but also made a pitstop in upstate NY before he returned from injury this season.

His rehab assignment came with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies earlier this month.

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