Aside from Jacob deGrom on Friday, the New York Mets have yet to announce their starting pitchers for the weekend series in Miami. This could be a positive sign that help is on the way.
Tuesday began a stretch of 20 games in 20 days for the Mets. With this demanding stretch just beginning, the team needs its starting rotation to live up to the billing. Fortunately, the latest news has been positive regarding left-handers Steven Matz and Jason Vargas.
Matz (forearm), who has flashed his upside early in the season, played catch on Tuesday and reported no issues. He has also been throwing his bullpens as scheduled.
If things go off without a hitch, the plan is for Matz to start on Saturday against the Marlins.
Things are trending in the right direction on the Vargas front, too. Per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, Vargas threw the equivalent of “multiple” innings during a bullpen session on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old initially injured his hamstring during his May 5 start against the Milwaukee Brewers. He did not experience any discomfort during his latest bullpen and will go through some fielding drills to test his mobility.
While it is likely that Vargas will immediately rejoin the rotation, it is not certain. If Wilmer Font impresses on Wednesday in Washington, DC, the Mets will have an interesting decision to make.
Due to scheduled off days and a rainout on Sunday, the team has been able to get by without an established fifth starter. Without an off day until June 3, a surplus of available starters would be an excellent luxury to have.