In unwelcome news for the Mets, left-hander Steven Matz is dealing with elbow irritation and won’t make his scheduled start Monday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com was among those to report (Twitter links here). Doctors have assured Matz that he doesn’t have ligament damage, per DiComo, and the 25-year-old insists he’s fine and will throw off flat ground Monday. However, general manager Sandy Alderson is concerned about Matz. “It’s worrisome that he continues to be injured,” said Alderson. Matz’s stellar rookie campaign last year ended in August because of a “massive” bone spur in his elbow, which led to October surgery. Before that, he logged a 3.40 ERA, 8.77 K/9, 2.11 BB/9 and 51.1 percent ground-ball rate in 132 1/3 innings. Fortunately for the Mets, they do have enviable rotation depth to fill in for Matz if he should miss regular-season time. “This is why we have (Robert) Gsellman and (Seth) Lugo,” a team source told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News (Twitter link).
More from the East Coast:
- Likely to go without injured shortstop Didi Gregorius for the first month of the season, the Yankees are scouring the trade market for help, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com. Ideally, the Yankees would like to acquire an inexpensive player who’s on an expiring contract and has minor league options remaining. New York is reportedly eyeing the Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, who checks two of those boxes (he’s cheap and comes with options), while the club’s uninterested in pricier shortstops in the Reds’ Zack Cozart and the Tigers’ Jose Iglesias. If no trade materializes, the Yankees will choose an Opening Day shortstop from an in-house group consisting of Ronald Torreyes, Pete Kozma, Tyler Wade, Ruben Tejada and Starlin Castro.
- Considering they’re not on the Red Sox’s 40-man roster, outfielder Rusney Castillo and first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig are already facing uphill battles to achieve relevance in Boston. Moreover, their onerous contracts make even short promotions to the majors unlikely, notes WEEI’s John Tomase (via colleague Rob Bradford). Castillo, for instance, would cost the Red Sox $56,596 per day to keep on their 25-man roster. Thus, a two-week stint with the Sox would cost $800K and push them over the luxury-tax threshold, which they’ve been careful to stay under. Castillo and Craig have upped their stock this spring, writes Bradford, but the team unsurprisingly sent the pair back to Triple-A on Sunday. They’ll combine to make $21.5MM in the minors this season.
- Nationals reliever Koda Glover is reportedly likely to win their closer job, which is the role he has wanted since the team selected him in the eighth round of the 2015 draft, details Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. The first time Glover reported to the Nationals, they had him fill out a questionnaire. One of the questions asked, “Are you a starter or reliever?” Glover wrote, “I’m a closer,” which has “reverberated through the organization ever since,” per Janes.