Mancuso: Matz latest Setback Leads to Next Year for Mets

The elbow and a nerve. That is the latest to shut down a Mets starting pitcher in this once promising rotation now that Steven Matz is the latest casualty. In a Mets season of gloom and doom this followed the script, and similar to Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard it was said that Matz never complained..

However, Matz who has been ineffective since returning from the disabled list showed signs that something was wrong. Similar to Matt Harvey, deGrom last year, and now Matz again, though this time it comes with the Mets out of contention and playing out the string.

So there is that question again, and too often, what has happened to a starting rotation that only two years ago was the best in baseball and since has become an injury ward at Citi Field?  Matz appeared frustrated after the Mets 3-2 10-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday night.  

Again, and too often, he offered an explanation. Like Harvey. Syndergaard, deGrom, and Zack Wheeler it is only Steven Matz who knew what was going on with the left elbow that developed irritation of the ulnar nerve and will require surgery to eliminate the irritation.

An MRI revealed more on Monday. Steven Matz had to face the facts and said this all started in the spring and the lefthander worked through it. And as always there has to be questions how long this was lingering and should he have been shut down sooner?  With the Mets out of contention it doesn’t matter now.

What matters most is that the Mets have a healthy Steven Matz that reports to Port St. Lucie Florida next February. That, he along with Harvey and Syndergaard are back to par and joined by Wheeler again. However, this has become such a tender and recurring issue with the Mets pitching situation and one will never know?

How healthy will they be again and when will they ever be the way they were? That is the question the Mets face, and add another to the long list of woes that made this season the disappointing one it was.

Terry Collins had his shortest post press conference of the season, The pain was etched in his face as much as it has been to Matz’ elbow. The manager is frustrated and he can’t be blamed with this string of bad luck that never ends,

“The nerve was an issue,” said Collins. “Hope this an answer for Steven to feel better next year.” And for the Mets and Matz, they hope for an answer because the promise of Steven Matz has been derailed with one injury after another.  Matz struggled from left elbow issues and the 26-year old was 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA in 13 starts.

The Yankees last week scored seven runs off Matz in 3-⅓ innings. His command left a lot to be desired and there was a sense that something was wrong, It was a matter of time and when for Steven Matz. The answer finally came Monday night and placing blame on Mets medical personnel this time is not the reason.

Matz worked through it, just like any pitcher that wants to grind it out and see if it could get better with some TLC, and not alarming the manager known as TC.

“I have talked to some who have had the procedure,” said Matz. That includes deGrom, the lone starter of this promising rotation who has had success and for the most part been free of injuries this season.

What really matters here is that the Mets get Steven Matz back to where he should be. There will be an entire winter to rehab and then it’s back to grind in 2018. And all along this never appeared to be a season for these New York Mets.

Injuries will derail the plan, one that was projected with a pitching staff that was supposed to lead the Mets to their third straight postseason. They have to wait until next year and they need a healthy Steven Matz to get there.

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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich has covered countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and BoxingInsider.com, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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