One of the longest successful and healthy stretches of Steven Matz’s major-league career is over.
After four largely effective months under pitching coach Dave Eiland and manager Mickey Callaway, Matz landed on the disabled list Friday with a mild flexor pronator strain in his left elbow. The Mets hope he will miss just one start.
Mets decision-makers hinted Thursday that Matz would be formally sidelined, with assistant general manager John Ricco saying the club probably would take a “conservative” approach to Matz’s issue and Callaway acknowledging that there probably was no benefit to allowing the Ward Melville product to make his scheduled start Sunday against the Braves.
“There’s no reason to push him through at this point,” Callaway said Friday. “Different scenario, we could. But it doesn’t make much sense right now. So give him a little bit of a breather and have him come back and ready to go and finish strong.”
This DL stint is Matz’s fifth in four years, all involving the left side of his upper body: lat, shoulder, elbow, elbow, elbow.
Matz (4.35 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) said he felt forearm tightness for a couple of starts but thought it was something he might be able to pitch through. “It’s that mindset,” he said. “Guys go out and pitch 32 games. There’s no way they feel good every game.” After he gave up seven runs in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday night against the Nationals, the Mets sent him to get checked out. Tests revealed the strain.
“We have the time right now just to miss one start,” Matz said. “It’s not the end of the world and just let it calm down and try to finish strong.”
Righthander Corey Oswalt will start in Matz’s place Sunday.
Callaway said Amed Rosario will continue to sit about twice per week as he puts in a lot of work behind the scenes. “It’s not like he’s resting,” Callaway said. “It’s about getting as much quality work in as we can as well.” . . . The Mets plan to keep Luis Guillorme in a pinch hitter/utility infielder role because they believe that’s the role in which he will be most valuable in the future . . . Callaway on the starting pitching depth beyond Oswalt: “After the season, we definitely need to look into our depth as an organization.”