The Mets announced some troubling news this afternoon as Steven Matz has had a setback with his shoulder strain and will no longer pitch Thursday night. At this point the Mets are hopeful that Matz will resume throwing eventually and pitch next week, but manager Terry Collins is not as optimistic. There certainly is a fear from Collins that Matz may not pitch for the rest of the season with this latest setback. Matz had told reporters that an MRI of his shoulder revealed no structural damage but did show irritation of his rotator cuff. Jacob deGrom will move up a day from his scheduled start on Friday, and pitch in Matz’s place on Thursday. Matz has not pitched since August 14th when he one-hit the San Diego Padres through 7.1 innings of work.
Collins also expressed a lot of concern for Neil Walker and his back issue, as Walker is out of the starting lineup for the third straight game. Collins suggested that Walker will have to manage his injury from here on out if he wants any shot of playing down the stretch, and it could be a real possibility the second baseman could be lost for the season. It’s certainly frustrating news which seems to come once a day from the Mets, as Walker has clearly been the Mets second best offensive player this season. Even if Walker is able to play down the stretch, the way Collins made his injury sound, he may not be an everyday player. The 30-year old second baseman was slashing .389 with six home runs and ten RBIs in 18 games during the month of August.
In unrelated news the Mets demoted pitcher Rafael Montero to Double-A Binghamton, and recalled right-handed pitcher Logan Verrett from Triple-A Las Vegas. It’s a bit surprising that the Mets brought up another pitcher instead of opting for depth on a thin bench. Verrett will provide the Mets with a fresh arm out of the bullpen. The 26-year old right-hander has produced a 3-8 record with a 5.36 ERA in 85.2 innings pitched at the MLB level this season.