Steven Matz will not be shifted to the bullpen
Before the Mets recalled LHP Steven Matz in late June, Sandy Alderson maintained a long standing position of the club that his stud left-harder would strictly serve as a starting pitcher for the team.
It would appear that stance has not changed, nor will it down the stretch of the season.
Terry Collins said on Sunday morning that when Matz is activated he will only serve the club in the starting rotation, not out of the bullpen.
Collins said given Matz’s injury history, it, “wouldn’t be fair to him” to shift gears to see if he could pitch in relief.
It also might not be best for the organization to create an unknown and subject Matz to additional risk, either.
In addition, Collins has said repeatedly Jon Niese is not a candidate for the bullpen, either.
But the Mets have reportedly been toying with the idea of shifting Noah Syndergaard into a short relief role, something they’ve considered in the past as well. If they do that and Matz and Niese are healthy and in the rotation in the playoffs, it’s possible the Mets could go with those two and both Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey in a seven-game series, with Niese potentially the odd-man out in the Division Series.
The Mets have already subjected Bartolo Colon to an assignment out of the bullpen as they search for a future role for him and rest an over-taxed bullpen. He delivered a scoreless inning of relief on Saturday afternoon.
As for Matz, he will start for the B-Mets on Monday, and rejoin the team on Tuesday when rosters expand to 40 players. It’s not clear yet when he will make a start, but it’s logical to conclude he could be used to skip Syndergaard in Miami next Saturday on regular rest, after which the Mets will go to a six-man rotation most of the rest of the way.