Steven Matz could return to the rotation as early as Friday. The young lefty has been working his way back from a shoulder ailment that left him sidelined since his last appearance on August 14.
Matz threw a successful bullpen in Port St. Lucie on Saturday, and is scheduled to throw another bullpen on Wednesday. If all goes well he could be inserted into the rotation on Friday, which would have been Jacob deGrom’s spot. Gabriel Ynoa filled in nicely for deGrom against the Twins, but having Matz back would bring a bit more stability to the rotation.
The last time Matz took to the mound, he came within five outs of throwing a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. It was broken up with one out in the eighth and Matz was immediately lifted from the game. The pitch count was troublesome as the game progressed, and when he was taken out he was at 105 pitches. In his previous start he threw 120 pitches against Arizona, so the high pitch count was less than ideal for Terry Collins and the Mets.
Shortly after that start, Matz was diagnosed with a mild shoulder strain and rotator cuff irritation. He attempted to come back at the end of August but had to be scratched from that start, and has not been able to rejoin the rotation in the time since.
Should Matz return to the rotation this week, he will be limited to approximately 50 pitches. Anything the Mets get from Matz from this point forward will be a lift as they struggle to keep the rotation intact in their push towards a playoff spot.