PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets poses for a photo during Photo Day at Clover Park on February 20, 2020 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The New York Mets sent lefty hurler Steven Matz home on Tuesday with an illness, but he’s still expected to make his start on Friday.

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz was sent home on Tuesday morning with an illness according to David Lennon of Newsday. The organization also didn’t want him to be around his teammates so as not to get anyone else sick. Matz missed his scheduled bullpen session but will apparently be good to go for his start on Friday against the Houston Astros.

It’s unclear what exactly Matz is suffering from, but the fact that it’s seemingly not too severe is a relief. In any case, it’s no surprise that the organization is taking it seriously and prioritizing keeping Matz away from the rest of the team.

With coronavirus disease spreading around the world, many are taking extra precautions when dealing with illness. It’s particularly important that sports teams do the same, for the sake of the fans as well as the players.

Matz has been in the news lately, as well, as part of trade rumors. Apparently, the New York Yankees contacted the Mets about potentially acquiring the 28-year-old since their rotation has already been devastated by some long-term injuries to James Paxton and Luis Severino.

Matz’s role on the team in 2020 is still up in the air and it’s unclear if he will start the season as part of the rotation or in the bullpen. The Mets’ acquisitions of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha during the offseason complicated things because one of them may end up taking his spot as a starter.

Matz finished the 2019 season with a 4.21 ERA, 1.341 WHIP, 4.60 FIP, and 96 ERA+. He did, however, pitch a career-high 160.1 innings and strike out a career-high 153 batters.

Because he pitched a portion of last season in the bullpen, the Mets may look to use him as a reliever, once again. It will be interesting to see who the team and its new manager, Luis Rojas, will use as the fifth starter.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.