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Mets' top starting pitchers take the mound this week

Steven Matz is the first of the team's young starters to appear in a spring training game.

Matz leads other Mets pitchers spring training drills
Matz leads other Mets pitchers spring training drills
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

24-year-old pitcher Steven Matz will take the mound against the Cardinals today in one of the Mets' split-squad games, kicking off a string of plate appearances by the Mets' top starting pitchers.

So far the exhibition season has seen Sean GilmartinRobert GsellmanLogan Verrett, and Rafael Montero starting for the Mets. Management has been cautious with Matz, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey this spring because of their participation in the postseason last year.

All four of the star pitchers are scheduled to start this week, along with the 42-year-old Bartolo Colon, who will also start today in split-squad game against Detroit.

Collins also mentioned the Mets' strange opening week schedule, which gives the more off days than games played through the first five days of the season. They'll play the the Royals in Kansas City on Sunday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 5 before playing their home opener against the Phillies on Friday, April 8.