Mets lefty Steven Matz will make his return to the big leagues this weekend against the Marlins, sources confirmed Tuesday. The Ward Melville product will start in place of Noah Syndergaard, who will be skipped so he can remain within his innings limit for the season.
Matz could start Saturday or Sunday, depending on where the Mets slot Bartolo Colon. According to a source, the team is weighing using Colon on Saturday to keep him on regular rest, which would leave Matz's return for Sunday.
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"I'm just going to try to pick up where I left off," said Matz, 24, who was 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in two big-league starts before he was sidelined July 10 with a partially torn lat muscle.StoryMatz throws 5 1/3 shutout innings in last rehab start
"He's going to be fine," manager Terry Collins said. "I think his stuff speaks for itself."
Upon Matz's return, the Mets are expected to remain in a six-man rotation, another measure to keep the Mets' young arms healthy.
The team could also skip Matt Harvey once more, pitching coach Dan Warthen said, though that decision will be linked to where the Mets are in the standings.
"A lot of it depends on where we are," Warthen said. "If we have to win, Harvey's going to pitch. It would be really nice if that skip came the last three games of the season, we've already clinched and he'll be at that magical number going into his last start."
Harvey has logged 160 innings in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. He will be capped in the 185-190 range.
Warthen said he would also prefer to skip one of Jacob deGrom's starts before the end of the regular season. This season, deGrom has logged 163 innings after tossing 178 2/3 last year.
Syndergaard has thrown 152 innings, up from 133 a season ago.
"The ball's coming out of his hand and he feels better than he did at the beginning of the year, his delivery and everything else," Warthen said of Syndergaard. "But we have to be cognizant of the innings. And if we get to the playoffs, we need to have those horses ready to go."
With the Mets steaming toward the postseason, Matz's return has prompted speculation that he could wind up in the bullpen. But despite the possibility of a crowded postseason rotation, Collins insisted that Matz will remain a starter.
Said Matz: "I'll do whatever they ask."