ATLANTA – Pete Alonso will once again team up with former Mets bench coach Dave Jauss when he defends his back-to-back Home Run Derby titles.
Alonso made his expected participation in the 2022 Derby, set to take place July 18 at Dodger Stadium, official on Monday in an Instagram post. Alonso said his 2021 Derby partner, Jauss, will pitch to him again.
“Just need to give him about two pots of coffee for before and a case of Bud Light for after and he said he’s good to go,” Alonso said of Jauss’ request.
Alonso is looking to become the first slugger in the history of the Home Run Derby to take home the title for a third consecutive year. Only Ken Griffey Jr. has won the Home Run Derby three times (1994, 1998-99). The event debuted in 1985.
“That would be sick,” Alonso said of potentially becoming the first hitter to win three Derbies in a row. “I’m just going to be out there having a ton of fun and showcasing what I got and competing. I don’t really know who else is going to be doing it, but for me, it doesn’t really matter because I’m out there having a blast and it’s something that I really enjoy doing. I’m looking forward to putting on a show.”
As of Monday evening, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was the only other hitter committed to competing in this year’s Derby. Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has also hinted he will participate.
“I have a really good plan to go into it,” Alonso said. “And I just have so much fun. I don’t think anyone has more fun than I do, especially when it comes to this event.”
Alonso put his home-run-hitting prowess on full display last year with Jauss, who is loose and ready to pitch again to the first baseman. Jauss recently threw batting practice in MLB’s Home Run Derby X event in London. He is currently working for the Nationals, but will happily work with Alonso again for a day in Hollywood.
The Mets first baseman said he’s kept a close relationship with Jauss, who was the Mets bench coach in 2021. Alonso said he considers Jauss a part of his “baseball family” and the former coach didn’t hesitate when the slugger asked if he would throw to him again.
“Jaussy just gave me the best chance I possibly could to compete and win,” Alonso said. “It was special. I had so much fun and I know Dave had a blast too. We were both acting like kids out there.”
ALL EYES ON THE ACE
Jacob deGrom (right scapula stress reaction) will start on Thursday for Triple-A Syracuse on an extra day of rest. Buck Showalter said deGrom and the Mets organization believed it was best for the right-hander to take an extra day before he makes his third rehab start.
“No sense in taking any chances,” Showalter said.
DeGrom is expected to pitch four innings on Thursday. He will require at least one more rehab start after that, with the minor-league schedule potentially complicating that outing. The sport will go on a break during All-Star Game festivities, which is when deGrom would be lined up to make his fifth rehab outing. It’s possible the ace will complete that start in the form of a simulated game.
Barring any setbacks, deGrom should be ready to return to the big leagues around July 22-27, pitching against either the Padres or Yankees.
Starling Marte (left groin tightness) was out of the lineup on Monday for the second straight game. Showalter was confident on Sunday that Marte would be able to avoid the injured list because his MRI results showed no cause for concern. It remains a possibility Marte could jump back into the lineup during the Mets-Braves series this week.