Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Mets place Betances, Matz on injured list

1 Comment

NEW YORK — The New York Mets have placed struggling pitchers Dellin Betances and Steven Matz on the injured list, one day after they both made appearances against the New York Yankees.

Betances landed on the injured list with right lat tightness. Matz was placed on the IL with left shoulder discomfort and will see a doctor Monday to determine the next step.

Betances threw a wild pitch on Saturday in the ninth inning that allowed Clint Frazier to score the winning run to give the Yankees a 2-1 win.

“I definitely felt like I didn’t have anything today,” Betances said.

Manager Luis Rojas said he did not think this injury was related to the lat strain that sidelined him for most of last season with the Yankees.

The Mets signed Betances to a one-year deal with a player option for 2021 in December. The deal will guarantee him $10.5 million.

The New York native is 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in 13 appearances this season. He is averaging 93.2 mph on his fastball, down from the 97.8 he averaged on the pitch in 2018, his last of five straight seasons with at least 100 strikeouts.

In 2018, Betances made 66 appearances, with a 2.70 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings. He was the first reliever in baseball history to have 100 or more strikeouts in five consecutive seasons.

Matz was moved to the bullpen and felt discomfort in a relief appearance on Saturday.

Matz is 0-4 with an 8.63 ERA in six appearances and Saturday was his first time in relief this season. He allowed four combined runs in his first two starts, but was tagged for 19 runs in his next three starts and pulled from the rotation after allowing six runs in a 6-2 loss at Philadelphia on Aug. 15.

Matz made his debut for the Mets in 2015, but he has spent time on the injured list in every season.

He missed nearly two months as a rookie with a lat injury, missed the final month of 2016 with left shoulder tightness and had two stints on the injured list in 2017 with left elbow injuries.

Matz briefly was sidelined in the previous two seasons and Sunday said the injury was a surprise because of how well he had been feeling.

“I was feeling so good coming in,” Matz said. “My arm was feeling really strong and healthy, so I’m pretty bummed about it.”

To replace Matz and Betances on the active roster, the Mets recalled right-handed relievers Drew Smith and Franklyn Kilome from the alternate site in Brooklyn.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”