JUNE 24: Matz has cleared protocols and rejoined the team, Sportsnet.ca’s Arden Zwelling tweets. Matz threw a 60-pitch live BP session today, and he is slated to return to the rotation during the Jays’ series with the Mariners next week (June 29-July 1).
JUNE 15: The Blue Jays announced yesterday that left-hander Steven Matz has tested positive for COVID-19 (via Shi Davidi of Sportsnet). Fortunately, he is asymptomatic, although he’ll still need to isolate for ten days from the date of the test. The team conducted follow-up testing in the wake of Matz’s result but no other players have turned up positive.
Matz was placed on the COVID-19 IL over the weekend when his first test showed an inconclusive result. Acquired from the Mets over the winter, the 30-year-old has gotten off to a decent start with his new team. Matz has tossed 69 2/3 innings of 4.26 ERA/3.77 SIERA ball, a bounce back effort after a disastrous 2020 campaign. It’s not clear who will replace Matz in the rotation while he’s out, although each of Nate Pearson, T.J. Zeuch and Anthony Kay have been starting games at Triple-A Buffalo.
In other Jays news, Scott Mitchell of TSN reports that reliever Julian Merryweather won’t be reinstated from the injured list until late June at the earliest. The fireballing 29-year-old went on the IL with a left oblique strain April 14, so he’s eligible for activation whenever he returns to health. Merryweather was off to a fantastic start to the season, striking out seven of the fourteen batters he faced while holding opponents hitless through 4 1/3 innings.