Elite Sports NY has the daily news on the New York Mets for March 31, including rotation decisions and another starter biting the dust.Alas, the last weekend without New York Mets baseball. Thursday brought plenty of news and the end of speculation for some key players’ roles going into the 2017 campaign — a season that will see the return of a once highly touted prospect and another example of the injury bug creating opportunity within the organization.
If there is one major league team that knows about how to deal with an injury to a star pitcher in recent years, it’s the Mets. An organization that had to deal with a slew of injuries during the 2016 season, the Mets will continue that theme going into 2017.
Southpaw Steven Matz will be shut down for three weeks after elbow soreness resulted in a MRI on Wednesday. The MRI came back negative, but Matz did receive a PRP injection, a precaution that keep him off the Opening Day roster.
It is likely that Matz will start the year on the disabled list. Fortunately for the Metropolitans, having a plethora of pitching waiting in the wings will come in handy.
Manager Terry Collins announced on Thursday that the long-time injured arm of Zack Wheeler, along with Robert Gsellman, will join Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom to begin the season as the Mets’ starting rotation. When pitching at their peak, this fearsome quintet could rival any rotation in the league.
The injury to Matz helped open the door for Wheeler. It’ll be up to Wheeler and Gsellman, though, to claim that fifth spot as their own once Matz comes back to claim the fourth spot. An innings limitation for Wheeler may give Gsellman a leg up in that competition.
More injuries to Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo has allowed for the promotions of Michael Conforto and Ty Kelly to the big league club.
Lagares, whose role with the Mets is as a superstar defensive replacement, suffered an oblique strain in spring training that will land him on the disabled list to open the year.
Nimmo, who essentially would be the fifth outfielder and bat off the bench, also will start the season on the disabled list, according to general manager Sandy Alderson.
B.A.T., or the Baseball Assistance Team, is an organization that aides baseball families in need of financial assistance. This spring, the Mets and Cleveland Indians were able to raise the most money for the organization.
The Bobby Murcer Award, which is named after the New York Yankees great and former chairman of the organization, is presented to a team in each conference.
The Mets and their Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, played a mixed inter-squad game prior to heading north and west on Thursday afternoon. deGrom started for the 51s, while prospect Harol Gonzalez made the start for the big league club.
There were two notable highlights in today’s matinee. The first, a towering home run from Jay Bruce off of deGrom in the third inning, with the second coming in the form of a clean sheet for suspended closer Jeurys Familia in an inning of work.
As Friday’s game against Army has been cancelled due to weather concerns, the big league club will make the trip to New York for final preparations prior to their opening series against the Atlanta Braves.