Jon Niese

Mets won’t use Steven Matz as a reliever

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As the Mets look ahead to their potential playoff rotation there’s been some speculation that rookie left-hander Steven Matz could be shifted to the bullpen, but manager Terry Collins shut down that notion.

Matz is due off the disabled list Tuesday after missing the past six weeks with a torn lat muscle and here’s what Collins told Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star Ledger about the possibility of a bullpen role down the stretch and/or into October:

You’re talking about a guy who’s had injury issues. To ask him to do something he hasn’t done before. To try to go warm up fast and get ready in a hurry–I’m not sure it’s fair to him.

Which makes sense, but here’s the thing: Matz made just two starts for the Mets before going on the disabled list and unless he’s absolutely lights-out as a starter in September they seem unlikely to trust him enough to be in the playoff rotation ahead of, say, veteran Jon Niese. In which case it would either be a bullpen role or no role for Matz in the playoffs, and “no role” would be a shame for a young pitcher with so much upside.