Mets without ace for now

The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is being put on the injured list and returning to New York for an MRI on his elbow after the NL Cy Young Award winner reported a sore right arm.

“He came in on the off-day and played a little catch and started feeling it a little bit,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said before Friday night’s game at St. Louis. “We’re not sure what it is.”

The 30-year-old deGrom, who had been scheduled to pitch Saturday, is coming off two shaky starts. He is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA in four games this season.

DeGrom will go on the injured list retroactive to Tuesday, the team said.

“We don’t know if it’s just from general fatigue so we’re being overly cautious at this point and making sure we take care of him,” Callaway said. “We’ve got 90 percent of the season left and we feel no reason to really push him too much at this point.”

Callaway said deGrom’s elbow was “barking.” DeGrom had Tommy John surgery in 2010.

DeGrom was dominant while pitching 13 scoreless innings and striking out 24 in his first two outings, extending his streak to a record-tying 26 straight quality starts. But he lost his last two starts while allowing a total of nine runs on 13 hits — including five homers — and five walks in nine innings.

DeGrom posted a 1.70 ERA in 32 starts last season. He signed a $137.5 million, five-year contract in March, right before opening day.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said deGrom had been recently slowed by strep throat.

“Additionally, Jacob experienced some mild soreness in his throwing arm over the last 24 hours. His arm felt significantly better following treatment with our health and performance staff today,” he said. “Even so, Jacob will be evaluated by our medical team in New York on Monday in the abundance of caution.”

Van Wagenen said it was anticipated deGrom could return April 26 when the Mets start a series at home against Milwaukee.

The Mets have not announced a starter for today. Callaway did confirm that Noah Syndergaard will pitch as scheduled on Sunday with Steven Matz taking his regularly scheduled turn Monday against Philadelphia.

Philly shortstop hurting

DENVER — Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Scott Kingery left Friday night’s game at Colorado midway through the fourth inning after suffering a strained right hamstring.

Kingery was injured running out an inning-ending fielder’s choice. He pulled up after running past first base and a trainer hustled out from the Phillies’ dugout to check on him. Kingery walked gingerly back to the dugout and was replaced in the field by Phil Gosselin.

Kingery had started the three previous games at shortstop in place of Jean Segura, who has been sidelined by strained left hamstring.

Manager Gabe Kapler said before the game that Segura was doing well and close to a return.

Angels star getting close

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels All-Star Shohei Ohtani took batting practice with teammates on Friday for the first time since having Tommy John surgery on his right arm, preparing to return to the team this season as a designated hitter.

He also threw from 90 feet for the first time, but he is not projected to pitch again until 2020 as he continues with his elbow rehabilitation following surgery Oct. 1.

The Angels have said Ohtani is expected to return to the lineup in May, although a precise date hasn’t been announced.

Ohtani was last season’s AL Rookie of the Year after hitting 22 homers and posting a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. He says he could be ready to see live pitching in about a week and would like to travel with the Angels to Monterrey, Mexico, for a May 4-5 series against the Houston Astros.

Indians’ star ready to go

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor says he is ready to make his season debut.

Lindor sat out Cleveland’s first 18 games with a sprained ankle he sustained during spring training in Arizona while recovering from an offseason calf injury. He posted a reflective story about his career on The Players’ Tribune, describing Friday how much he’s missed playing.

Lindor said he’s “ready to roll. Ready to help this team win it all. I am going to cherish every single second I am able to play this game. I will not take anything for granted — not any pitch, ground ball, hit . nothing.”

The 25-year-old will meet with the medical staff once more before he is activated. Lindor likely will be in Cleveland’ lineup this weekend against Atlanta.

One of baseball’s best all-around players, Lindor made three rehab appearances this week for Triple-A Columbus, batting .417 with two home runs.

Good news for Red Sox fans

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said he got good news about the irritation in his left knee that caused his return to the 10-day injured list.

The 35-year-old started the season on the injured list with inflammation in his left knee and was activated April 9. He left Wednesday night’s game against the New York Yankees in the second inning and was examined Thursday, when Boston put him back on the IL.

“More kind of scared me than anything,” Pedroia said before Friday night’s game at Tampa Bay. “I was nervous, obviously, to feel that. We’re just going to let it calm down for a few days and then it should be alright. I hadn’t had any issues up until this point.”

Pedroia felt a pop when he went to rotate on a swing.

“Sometimes the batter’s box are a little tacky and things like that,” Pedroia said. “The brace I wear is strapped around, so it kind of like torqued and my knee didn’t.”

Pedroia will use a different type of brace when he returns.

Pedroia has appeared in six games with Boston, making four starts at second base and two as a designated hitter. He is 2 for 20 with a walk, one RBI and one run scored. He did not need an MRI.

“I’ve been through a lot,” Pedroia said. “It’s fun being out there playing. It was just a weird, freak thing.”