Mets general manager Sandy Alderson met with the media in New York today to address a number of topics, including health updates on starters Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, each of whom was reported to have a bone spur in his pitching elbow yesterday. Per Newsday’s Marc Carig (links to Twitter), Alderson said that club doctors aren’t worried about the spur in Syndergaard’s right elbow becoming worse, and the New York Post’s Mike Puma tweets that Syndergaard’s spur is much smaller than the spur in Matz’s elbow. Accordingly, the outlook on Matz was painted a bit more grimly, with Alderson somewhat stating, “He’ll either pitch and be able to tolerate the discomfort, or he won’t.” As Puma tweets, surgery to remove the spur would sideline Matz for three months, so he’ll look to continue pitching for the time being.
Matz won’t need to be skipped on a regular basis, though, tweets ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. However, the team might eventually move to a six-man rotation. Presumably, said mix would include right-hander Zack Wheeler, though Alderson said that while he’ll soon have a new projection for Wheeler’s return, he does not have a new one at this tme (via Carig). Logan Verrett is another option to get some starts, and he’ll take the hill Wednesday in place of Matz, as Matz will be bumped back to Thursday, per Rubin.
The rotation, of course, is far from the only area in which the Mets are dealing with injuries. First baseman Lucas Duda hasn’t suited up for a game since May 20 due to a stress fracture in his back, and he’s still at least two weeks away from even resuming baseball activities (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo). As such, the earliest possible return date for Duda would seem to be August.
Looking across the diamond, David Wright’s season could very well be over following neck surgery, and Alderson confirmed that the club worked out Cuban star Yulieski Gurriel, who could seemingly step in as an eventual alternative to the Mets’ longtime captain. Gurriel didn’t face live pitching in his workout, but he did run “fairly well,” per Alderson, and he also took batting practice and worked out in the field at both third base and second base (links to Carig on Twitter). They’re still weighing whether to make an offer, DiComo tweets, and it should be stressed that Gurriel is by no means an immediate replacement; it’s been months since Gurriel saw regular action in a game setting, and as such he’d need to spend a month ramping up in the minor leagues, in the Mets’ estimation.
In the meantime, the Mets have enlisted a different infield alternative by bringing Jose Reyes back to Queens on a minor league deal. He’s working exclusively at third base in the minors, according to Alderson, but upon his promotion to the big leagues he’ll begin working out in the outfield as well (via Rubin). The addition of Reyes doesn’t in any way preclude the team from signing Gurriel as well, Carig notes. Of course, the Mets will have to deal with a number of other clubs should they elect to make a serious run at Gurriel. He’s reportedly worked out for the heavy-spending Dodgers already, and he’s also been connected to the likes of the Astros, Giants and Yankees in recent weeks since being declared a free agent by MLB.