The New York Mets' tumultuous season seems to be getting crazier every day.
Following another Mets loss on Monday, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen denied that he reportedly instructed manager Mickey Callaway to pull ace Jacob deGrom from a start against the Arizona Diamondbacks in early June due to a hip cramp.
When asked if the front office told him to remove deGrom on June 1, Callaway said it was a collaborative decision, according to Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports.
Van Wagenen said that in-game decisions are never called down to the dugout.
"We’re not allowed to communicate with Mickey or his coaching staff during the game and we’re not doing that,” he said.
Before Monday's game, Van Wagenen was asked about the deGrom start in question while addressing Sunday's heated clubhouse exchange between Callaway, left-hander Jason Vargas, and a reporter.
“For injury-related situations we can have dialogue if there are situations that are player/health related,” Van Wagenen said. “But as far as player in-game decisions Mickey has control of those decisions for baseball.”
Van Wagenen reportedly communicated the order from home while watching the game on TV, a source told Mike Puma of the New York Post. Callaway ended up yanking a visibly upset deGrom, who threw just 89 pitches and allowed one earned run through 6 2/3 innings in a game New York lost.
“Hell, yeah, it’s unusual: sending word to the dugout, telling the manager what to do?” the source told Puma. “I have never heard of that before.”
A front-office member isn't permitted to communicate with his team's coaching staff during a game, Ehalt reports.
At the time of the decision to remove deGrom, Callaway was questioned and said he made the call. There was reportedly grumbling in the team's clubhouse about Van Wagenen not taking responsibility, and the perception that deGrom was unhappy with his manager persisted.
DeGrom acknowledged the decision irked him.
“I wasn’t happy I was coming out, no matter who was taking me out,” he said.