Terry Collins still deciding between Bartolo Colon and Steven Matz for playoff rotation
Throughout their entire drive to the postseason, Terry Collins and the Mets have been pretty clear as to the front three of their starting rotation will be.
And on Sunday, Collins reaffirmed his front three in the rotation will unquestionably be Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard.
But Collins didn’t offer an order in which his three young hurlers would pitch, although he did say game three is the most pivotal of any playoff series. And right now, deGrom and Harvey are in line to pitch the first two games of the Division Series.
With that said, it seems logical to conclude a game three would belong to Harvey, and both deGrom and Syndergaard would open their Division Series regardless of it starting at home or on the road.
Harvey will not be under any innings restrictions come October, Collins said.
Collins is also still mulling who will be his fourth starter, trying to decide between either Bartolo Colon or Steven Matz.
But as he and Sandy Alderson have said all year, Collins expressed concerns over Matz in the bullpen thanks to his inexperience in that role plus his injury history.
Given Colon has shown versatility at this stage of his career, it seems logical to conclude he will be in the bullpen for the Division Series, and Matz will be in the rotation.
It’s a lot to ask of Matz no matter what his role is given his limited experience at this level, but a rotation like this with Matz included can be tantalizing and dominating if they’re all right in the playoffs.
Collins said on Saturday one of Colon or Jon Niese will not start this week, as one will be assigned to the bullpen to be evaluated as a possible reliever in the playoffs.
But for now, Colon remains scheduled to start against the Phillies this week, followed by Steven Matz on Wednesday and Logan Verrett on Thursday.
As such, it would appear Niese will go to the bullpen this week to begin his trial as either a lefty specialist or a cross-over reliever.
Collins said on Sunday Niese approached him last week and asked if he could begin a transition to the bullpen over the final week of the season.
It remains to be seen if Niese can thrive in a relief role. As is the case with Matz, between his inexperience and recent arm problems, it’s not clear if it can work.
But now that the games have less meaning for their playoff lives, it’s as good a time as any to see if he can do this not only for 2015, but 2016 as well.