Steven Matz got good news when his left elbow was examined by team doctors on Monday, according to sources, but the Mets have not announced when he will make his next start.
The left-hander was checked out at Hospital for Special Surgery after he was scratched in Colorado because of elbow discomfort. No structural damage was discovered after Matz initially experienced symptoms following his most recent start against the Dodgers on May 9.
Matz, who was able to play catch by the end of the team’s recent 11-game road trip and said his elbow showed signs of improvement, could throw a bullpen session Tuesday, when the Mets open their key series against the Nationals at Citi Field.
With Noah Syndergaard slated to pitch Tuesday, the Mets could have Bartolo Colon or Matt Harvey pitch Wednesday and have Matz go on Thursday.
But because they have been cautious with the southpaw, it’s also possible Matz skips the Washington series entirely.
Matz has pitched well in six starts since a disastrous season-opener against the Marlins, when he gave up seven runs in 1 ²/₃ innings.
The Mets are planning on showing a video tribute for Daniel Murphy before Tuesday’s game in the second baseman’s return to Citi Field. He signed a three-year, $37.5 million deal with the Nationals following his October heroics that helped the Mets get to the World Series for the first time since 2000.
Mets manager Terry Collins called Nationals manager Dusty Baker a “great hire” for the Nationals, who fired Matt Williams after last season. Baker was a player for the Dodgers in the 1970s and ’80s, when Collins was managing in that organization’s minor-league system.
“Dusty Baker is a great players’ manager — he knows how to handle players,” Collins said. “He was a great player himself. I think he handles [players] the way he wanted to be handled, and people respect him for what he did and where he’s come from.
“When he got the job there I thought it was a great hire. I thought he will change the dynamics of their clubhouse. He’s an outstanding guy, but he gets your attention.”
Triple-A Las Vegas RHP Rafael Montero was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
It’s been a typically rocky season for the 25-year-old, who pitched twice out of the bullpen for the Mets in April. He’s now followed up a terrible outing for Las Vegas, when he gave up seven earned runs at El Paso, with two strong starts in which he gave up no runs and struck out 13 in 11 ²/₃ innings. All three outings were away from hitter-friendly Vegas.
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