New York Mets: This injured pitcher is inching closer to a return

Andres Chavez
New York Mets, New York Yankees, Steven Matz
Jun 28, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have had countless issues when it comes to their pitching depth, both in the rotation and the bullpen. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, there was a point in the season in which a rookie and two relievers were being used as starters.

The team is slowly getting healthier, but the pitching staff remains, at best, a question mark. The bullpen keeps blowing games and the starters, behind Jacob deGrom, provide no guarantees.

One of the members of the original New York Mets’ starting rotation, Steven Matz, went down with a shoulder injury in late August. One can’t help to link his atrocious start of the season (0-4, 8.63 ERA in 24.0 frames and six games) is linked to the shoulder ailment in some way.

The Mets’ pitcher is taking a huge step today

Thankfully, Matz, whose precise diagnosis is left shoulder bursitis, is throwing a simulated game today at the Mets’ alternate site in Brooklyn, according to’s beat writer for the Mets Anthony DiComo.

That is a crucial step in the right direction for Matz, who began playing catch last week after hitting the injured list on August 30.

In late August, Matz reported left shoulder discomfort and was taken off the rotation and moved to the bullpen. A few days and tests after that, he was diagnosed with the bursitis.

The New York Mets fully expect Matz to return before the end of the regular season. If that ends up being the case, he would pitch out of the bullpen, although it’s not clear in which role.

A healthy Matz should be a welcome addition for the Mets’ pitching staff. Last season, he rode a dominant second half to a 4.21 ERA in 160.1 innings in the year as a whole. He could be a valuable long man or pitch in a more traditional, one-inning relief role. Only time will tell.