TODAY: Matz has undergone a PRP injection and will not throw for at least three weeks, Marc Carig of Newsday reports (Twitter links). While there’s still no apparent structural concern, that course of treatment seems likely to portend a fairly lengthy absence. Once Matz is able to resume throwing, he’ll still need to build back his arm strength and perhaps progress through a rehab stint.
YESTERDAY: Mets lefty Steven Matz isn’t likely to be ready for the Opening Day roster, skipper Terry Collins told reporters including MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (Twitter links). The southpaw has been dealing with elbow soreness and is headed for an examination — likely an MRI, per the manager — to further determine the root of the problem. At last check, reports on Matz indicated that there’s no ligament damage in his elbow. Regardless of the upcoming test’s outcome, Matz is a candidate to require at least a short stint on the DL to begin the season.
While New York certainly doesn’t lack for depth options, it is obviously concerning to see Matz again dealing with health issues. Elbow and shoulder problems have limited him of late, with both being addressed (bone spur surgery for the former; a PRP injection for the latter) over the offseason. The talented 25-year-old also wasn’t quite himself this spring, as he recorded only seven strikeouts over 12 2/3 innings, with six earned runs crossing the plate on 16 hits and four walks.
It’s still unclear just what the Mets will do to fill in the immediate void, but Seth Lugo would seem to be a solid bet to step into the starting mix in the absence of Matz. Right-handers Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Robert Gsellman all appear to be penciled into the New York rotation at this time. In addition to Lugo, who shined in a strong rookie campaign last season, right-handers Zack Wheeler and Rafael Montero are in the mix for a rotation spot, tweets Newsday’s Marc Carig. Much has been made of the desire to limit Wheeler’s innings this spring after 2015 Tommy John surgery wiped out his last two seasons, though it stands to reason that Wheeler could occupy a starting slot for a brief time early in the year before transitioning to the ’pen.