Not long after declaring Steven Matz ready to go for Friday’s start, the tables have turned, as the Mets have scratched the left-hander due to lingering discomfort in his left shoulder, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (links to Sherman on Twitter). Furthermore, general manager Sandy Alderson stated that with so few games remaining on the schedule, it’s unlikely that Matz will be able to take the hill for another regular season start, per Sherman.
It’s now been nearly six weeks since Matz took the mound on Aug. 14, making it difficult to envision a scenario where he’d be able to ramp back up in time to make any kind of impact on the Mets’ postseason roster — if the Mets are able to hang on in the National League Wild Card race. The flare-up in Matz’s shoulder means that the Mets will be without him, Jacob deGrom (elbow surgery) and Matt Harvey (thoracic outlet syndrome surgery) in the event that the team reaches the postseason. Right-hander Gabriel Ynoa is set to step into Matz’s spot in the rotation tomorrow, but the postseason rotation, if necessary, would now seemingly consist of Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon and one of Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman or Ynoa. Of that bunch, Lugo has been the most effective and would represent the leading candidate to join the rotation in a theoretical NLDS appearance.
Alderson indicated to Sherman that surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary on Matz’s shoulder, though it’s been a foregone conclusion for months that he’ll need to go under the knife in order to remove a bone spur from his left elbow following the season. If, as Alderson indicated, this ends the season for Matz, the 25-year-old southpaw will finish with a 3.40 ERA, 8.8 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 132 1/3 innings. Certainly, he’ll hope to be able to take on a greater workload in 2017, though concerns about Matz’s durability are nothing new. The 141 innings he threw between the minors and Majors last season represent a career-high for Matz.