Steven Matz Has a Shoulder Injury to Match His Elbow Injury
Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera are supposed to come off the disabled list, but that doesn’t mean that the Mets are getting healthy for the stretch run. Not in the least. Seth Lugo will make his first career start as Steven Matz is going to miss tonight’s start due to his bone spurs. Sorry, he is going to miss the start due to shoulder discomfort.
Matz started feeling shoulder discomfort the day after his last start. Matz felt this shoulder discomfort after having gone 7.1 innings in his prior start and throwing 120 pitches over six innings the start before that. In his last start, Matz had all but scrapped his slider, and he started relying more on his curveball as a weapon to get batters out.
It is important to note the Mets pitched Matz because they believed there was no structural damage. As Sandy Alderson said, “Continuing to pitch will not cause any structural damage. We will continue to monitor his situation, but at this point it’s a function of if he can tolerate the discomfort while continuing to pitch.” (New York Post). It should also be noted that, according to Jon Heyman, the Mets talked Matz out of getting surgery to remove the bone spur. Instead, the Mets decided it was best to have their young lefty try to pitch through the pain and help the Mets win another World Series.
One thing that stood out in Matz’s last start was how everyone seemed to believe he turned a corner. Not just this season, but possibly his career. Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez talked a few times about how important it was for young players to learn the ability to pitch while being hurt, while having pain. As Darling would say, pitchers always have pain, and therefore, they need to learn how to deal with it if they are going to take that next step.
That begs the question – was Matz pitching through pain or was he pitching through injury? Matz is going to miss this start, and according to Terry Collins, he may very well miss his next start as well. What if Matz pitching with the bone spurs led to his shoulder injury? There will be many theories bandied about, but at the end of the day, no one knows quite for sure. However, what we do know is that the Mets best chances to win both this year and the years going forward is keeping their starting pitchers healthy. They haven’t been healthy this year.
For what it’s worth, after his last start, Matz didn’t feel there was an issue saying, “My arm’s been feeling great. I have no complaints there.” (Newsday). Except, now he does, and we don’t know why. The only thing we do know is that the Mets pressured him into pitching with an injury in his elbow, and now, they are sitting him with a shoulder injury.