According to general manager Sandy Alderson, both Steven Matz and Seth Lugo will get one more rehab start before they return to the rotation. That means today’s starter Robert Gsellman will get pushed to the bullpen once the other two return.
Both Matz and Lugo made rehab starts on Sunday, and Matz was especially impressive on the mound in the hitter-friendly ballpark in Las Vegas. He pitched five perfect innings for the 51s and struck out eight while throwing 73 pitches.
Lugo was a little less successful in his start for Binghamton. He made it through six innings and struck out seven, but he surrendered three runs on eight hits. He threw 79 pitches and the plan is to get both him and Matz up to 100 pitches in their next rehab starts.
The starting rotation could certainly use the boost that both Matz and Lugo would give them. The last time Matz was on the mound in the majors, on August 14, 2016, he was in the midst of pitching a no-hitter against the Padres that ended with one out in the eighth inning.
Seth Lugo pitched in the World Baseball Classic back in March, and was one of Puerto Rico’s stars. He started the championship game against USA, and overall he had a very successful tournament. Lugo does have a partial UCL tear in his right elbow, which leads Terry Collins to believe that he is more suited to the rotation than the bullpen when he is ready to return.
Since the two starters will both be getting one more rehab start, recent call-up Tyler Pill will get the start on Tuesday. As for Gsellman, he has struggled as a starter so far this season but has been a little better when he has come out of the bullpen. His most successful relief outing came against the Angels, when he pitched two scoreless innings and got Mike Trout to strike out looking to end his night.
Gsellman has the potential to be a real asset out of the bullpen, so the return of Matz and Lugo could improve the pitching on all fronts for the Mets.