MLB pitcher may miss Opening Day to see his son's birth

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Why Isn't DeGrom Pitching?

Jacob deGrom is one of the New York Mets' top starting pitchers, and figures to be an integral part of the team's National League East title defense. Manager Terry Collins has him slated to pitch the Mets' home opener on Friday -- but deGrom may skip the game all together. Because family comes first.

deGrom's wife Stacey is nine months pregnant, and the baby's due date was Tuesday. They didn't expect to be kept waiting this long, but the 27-year-old ace knows that pitching one game for the Mets isn't worth missing the birth of his first child.

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He's still with the team, as it just finished up a two-game series in Kansas City to open the season, and now flies back to New York for a home series that opens Friday afternoon. The Mets have Wednesday and Thursday off, but should his wife go into labor anywhere close to game time, deGrom will be flying home to Florida.

"I've had my phone on me a little more than I normally do," deGrom said, via MLB.com. "I'm excited. I'm just waiting to see what happens."

If deGrom isn't available to pitch Friday, New York will call on either Bartolo Colon or Steven Matz.

The Mets experienced a similar scenario with one of their pitchers last July, when Jon Niese debated skipping his July 24 start to fly home and join his pregnant wife in Ohio. He opted to make the start, only to learn that Leah went into labor during the game.

Niese, clearly understandably distracted, allowed six runs in three innings, then watched the birth of his child through FaceTime.

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"I'm just waiting to see what happens. If she calls, then I'll be heading to Florida. But I'm still getting ready to pitch the home opener," deGrom said.

Either outcome seems to favor the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year -- either he's pitching the home opener in front of a sold out Mets crowd, or he'll be welcoming his son into the world.

"I'm definitely excited for both," he said.

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MLB pitcher may miss Opening Day to see his son's birth

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Craig Biggio, Roy Halladay, Trevor Hoffman, Mike Mussina, Joe Mauer, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Jeff Bagwell, Eric Gagne, CC Sabathia, Tim Hudson, Chase Utley, Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, Juan Gonzalez, Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitle, Curt Schilling, Bobby Abreu, Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Beltran, Edgar Martinez, Johan Santana, Jason Giambi, Raphael Palmiero, Barry Larkin, Fred McGriff.

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24. Jim Thome

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23. John Smoltz

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22. Frank Thomas

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21. Mike PIazza

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20. David Ortiz

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19. Vladimir Guerrero

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18. Tom Glavine

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17. Randy Johnson

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15. Greg Maddux

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14. Miguel Cabrera

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13. Ivan Rodriguez

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12. Albert Pujols

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11. Sammy Sosa

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10. Mark McGwire

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9. Ken Griffey Jr.

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8. Derek Jeter

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7. Cal Ripken Jr.

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1. Barry Bonds

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