New York Mets: Steven Matz cleared for offseason activities 1
Aug 14, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz (32) pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets lefty Steven Matz, thanks to another nagging injury, won’t be available on opening day of MLB 2017. 

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz will not be ready for Opening Day.

After Saturday’s start against the Miami Marlins, Matz felt soreness in his elbow. Originally, all parties believed this was nothing serious, so Matz threw the last two days.

Though yesterday the throwing sessions appeared to do no harm, today Matz felt that soreness still lingering. Thus, he went to get an MRI done and the team is still awaiting the results.

Even if the MRI results come back and show no structural damage, Mets manager Terry Collins does not believe Matz will be ready for Opening Day. Add this to the long list of setbacks for the lethal lefty.

Who will step into the 5th rotation slot?

Luckily for the Mets, his replacement will be more than capable of holding down the fort during Matz’s absence.

The most likely candidates to take Matz’s place in the rotation are Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, but Collins has tossed Rafael Montero’s name in the mix after an impressive spring training.

Based on the Mets announcement that the top of the rotation is figured out (Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey), my best guess is that the next two names will read: Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler.

I believe Seth Lugo is best suited for the bullpen, based on how the Mets roster is constructed. Quite frankly, Zack Wheeler just has better stuff than Lugo and Montero has not proved he can have consistent success at the Major League level just yet.

Hopefully, this injury is just discomfort and the MRI results show no structural damage. But, the Mets have the depth (for now) to withstand this injury.