Steven Matz stint in the bullpen is over. The Mets have decided what their rotation will be coming out of the All-Star Game break and the lefthander is slated to get the start a week from Wednesday in Minnesota. Matz appeared in two games as a reliever and did not allow a run in 1 2/3 innings.
Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom -- in that order – will pitch in the three-game series in Miami that starts a 10-game road trip for the Mets after the break. The club then has an off day before a pair against the Twins at Target Field; Zack Wheeler will start the first of them, followed by Matz.
Matz, out of Ward Melville High, was moved to the bullpen after a dismal June in which he made six starts, went 1-3 and pitched 29 1/3 innings to a 7.36 ERA. He had never pitched relief., but was agreeable to it.
At the time of the move, manager Mickey Callaway said it was possible Matz would still be pitching relief after the break because, given the off day, the Mets wouldn’t need a fifth starter until July 20 in San Francisco.
Instead they will give their pitchers an extra day of rest and Matz will come back sooner.
Conforto can use rest
Michael Conforto has been dealing with back tightness, though the training staff has been able to help him get loose enough to play without discomfort, he said. He felt it Saturday, but played. He wasn’t in the starting lineup Sunday, but came off the bench to play the last four innings.
“We’re hoping these five days totally knock it out,” Callaway said. “He should be ready to go after the All-Star break.”
“Resting it over the break should help,” Conforto said.
Callaway not worried about Alonso in Derby
Callaway isn’t worried that Pete Alonso’s participation in the Home Run Derby will alter his swing and affect his play in the second half.
“He’s been playing home run derby in the games all year so I don’t think it’s going to mess his swing up at all,” Callaway said. “Pete is a good hitter. He knows what he’s doing. . . . He knows when it’s 2-and-0 how to take a home run swing. I figure he’s going to go up there and take a bunch of 2-0 swings.”