By Zach Gewelb
The New York Mets’ projected Opening Day starting rotation may be in jeopardy, as Steven Matz was scratched from Monday’s scheduled Spring Training start due to elbow discomfort, according to the New York Post.
“Before my last start it was a little tender and then into the last start it was just more sore than normal,” Matz said.
The injury to Matz is concerning because it continues the narrative that the southpaw has trouble staying healthy. He missed time in 2015 with a lat injury and was shelved in 2016 due to elbow and shoulder injuries.
“It’s worrisome that he continues to be injured off and on — that is the difficulty,” Mets’ General Manager Sandy Alderson said. “We don’t think it’s serious. On the other hand, starting pitchers, we rely on them every five days. We’re not sure where this is going to take us, but he won’t pitch [Monday].”
Should Matz have to miss regular season time, the Mets have enough depth to fill his spot in the rotation. Robert Gsellman won the competition for the fifth starting spot and will move up in the rotation, while one of Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo will likely fill out the final the rotation.
But the Mets’ preference is to have Matz in the rotation. They will be cautious with their prized lefty and won’t rush him back, but it’s clear his loss will hurt the team, no matter how long he is out.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe