CHICAGO — Jacob deGrom will take an extra day before his next start.
Instead of pitching Thursday in the series finale at Wrigley Field as originally scheduled, the Mets ace will shift to Friday at Citi Field against the Nationals.
Joey Lucchesi will start Thursday against the Cubs.
Manager Luis Rojas indicated deGrom wanted the extra day between starts. Both deGrom and Lucchesi started in Saturday’s doubleheader in Colorado. DeGrom pitched six innings in his start and Lucchesi went just three.
“Jake this time wanted the extra day,” Rojas said. “It will keep Lucchesi in line, too, so it just works well, [Lucchesi] had less pitches in his outing, so we are going with him on Thursday.”
DeGrom was working on six days’ rest when he faced the Rockies. He will be on five days’ rest against the Nationals.
Jeff McNeil’s search to find a groove is different from his struggles early last season, according to Rojas. After going 0-for-3 in the Mets’ 3-1 loss to the Cubs on Tuesday, the Mets second baseman has a .162/.262/.297 slash line with one homer.
“His approach has been a little different than it was last year,” Rojas said before the game. “I think he had his approach [early] last year, he was not disciplined with the pitches he was swinging, so his swing decision wasn’t good. I think this year it’s almost been like a constant search for him, and I just think he’s changed a few times.”
Luis Guillorme (1-for-1) received throws at first base from J.D. Davis (2-for-3, HR, one RBI, two throwing errors) during early infield work, and Rojas said Guillorme could be an option at the position in an emergency situation. Already, Guillorme has volunteered to serve as the team’s emergency catcher.
In spring training infield coach Gary DiSarcina indicated he could see Guillorme playing first base if needed. The Mets already have Dominic Smith (2-for-4) as Pete Alonso’s (0-for-4) backup at the position, and Davis has first-base experience.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if [Guillorme] is able to play first,” Rojas said. “I know the height, the target can be a little bit of a challenge, but he will play it and be effective for us in an emergency situation.”