8:36pm: Matz will indeed undergo a procedure to reposition his ulnar nerve, the Mets have announced. That will be scheduled in the coming days, per the announcement.
4:52pm:Mets lefty Steven Matz is dealing with a nerve issue in his pitching elbow that will likely lead to a DL stint and may require surgery, according to reports from Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News and Marc Carig of Newsday. It seems the problem is similar to the one experienced last year by teammate Jacob deGrom.
Matz, 26, has struggled through a disappointing campaign after showing immense promise in his first two seasons of MLB action. Through 13 starts, he has pitched only 66 2/3 innings with a 6.08 ERA, recording 6.5 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 while surrendering a dozen long balls. Arm health has been a longstanding concern for Matz, and he has already missed time this year for an elbow injury.
It seems that Matz has been skipping pen sessions between starts to help manage the issue, which has caused him pain all year long. There was at least some concern that the southpaw was experiencing arthritis; it’s not apparent whether that has been ruled out. Matz received treatment in the form of a shot earlier today, so perhaps his response will dictate the course of treatment.
It’s worth emphasizing that there’s no evidence of a structural problem in Matz’s elbow. And while it’s never good to hear of possible elbow surgery, deGrom has not shown any ill effects from the nerve repositioning procedure he underwent last September.
Still, this represents the latest jolt to a Mets’ rotation that was expected to be one of the game’s very best. If Matz hits the DL, only deGrom will remain standing among the hurlers that were expected to comprise the staff entering the year.