For all the anxiety that surrounded the status of his left elbow and forearm, Steven Matz never shared that worry. When doctors on Monday offered what he called “peace of mind,” the Mets lefthander wasn’t even surprised. He had known that his skipped start was little more than a precaution.
Instead, Matz diverted his attention to resuming what has been an impressive run after stumbling to begin the season. He will start Friday night’s series opener against the Brewers and Wily Peralta (2-4, 7.30 ERA).
Other than a cortisone shot to help alleviate discomfort in his arm, Matz needed little more than rest to get back in line for his return to the rotation.
Matz (5-1, 2.86) has won each of his last five decisions, the last coming on May 9 against the Dodgers, when he allowed two runs in six innings. It is the longest winning streak of Matz’s career and the longest for any Mets pitcher since Jacob deGrom in 2014.
Inactivity, however, may be an adversary. Matz, 24, is returning after a 10-day layoff. Though he’s 3-1 when coming off at least six days of rest, his ERA in those situations is 4.05.
David Wright’s late scratch on Tuesday paired with Lucas Duda’s barking back prompted the Mets to explore emergency options at first base.
Fifth outfielder Alejandro De Aza did some pregame work at first base with third-base coach and infield instructor Tim Teufel on Thursday. De Aza, who had limited experience at first base in the minor leagues, is open to the idea of learning a new spot.
“Versatility’s huge,” manager Terry Collins said.
De Aza, 32, is hitting .167/.222/.262 in 42 at-bats. He has primarily come off the bench as a pinch-hitting option.