Steven Matz scratched from Thursday’s start with additional back stiffness
Steven Matz woke up with a stiff back after sleeping on a sofa on Tuesday morning, and the team took the conservative approach to scratch him from his scheduled start on Wednesday.
Matz was rescheduled to start on Thursday.
The team downplayed Matz’s injury, to the point Sandy Alderson said this was not a serious injury and Matz would not be undergoing any tests.
But on Wednesday, Matz reported to Citizens Bank Park with continued stiffness in his back, and has been scratched from his start on Thursday, Terry Collins said on Wednesday afternoon.
Either Tim Stauffer or Sean Gilmartin will start on Thursday.
Matz has been diagnosed with a muscle spasm, and he and the team hope he will pitch sometime this weekend.
But if he cannot pitch this weekend, it’s possible Matz might be made unavailable for the Division Series against the Dodgers, which begins next Friday, October 9.
That would be the conservative approach, as if Matz needs to be removed from the Division Series roster due to injury, he would be ineligible to return in the National League Championship Series.
Matz said on Tuesday the discomfort in his back is on his right side and not at all related to the torn lat muscle which sidelined him for two months this summer.
If Matz is left off the Division Series roster, the Mets may be wise to consider putting Jon Niese in the rotation and shifting Bartolo Colon into the bullpen, although it sounds like Colon may simply remain in the rotation as of now.
It might be a better matchup for Niese considering the left-handed bats of Adrian Gonzalez, Corey Seager, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, whereas Colon and an ineffective two-seamer could be more conducive to damage, especially if it’s bleeding over the middle of the plate.
Original post, 4:05 pm, updated, 11:25 pm