Collins hop­ing to ease Matz back in

Baltimore Sun - - BASEBALL -

NEW YORK — Mets man­ager Terry Collins said left-han­der Steven Matz may throw a Wed­nes­day bullpen ses­sion in the hopes he can pitch this week­end against the Phillies.

Matz has not pitched since Aug. 14 be­cause of shoul­der tight­ness.

The bullpen ses­sion sched­uled for Wed­nes­day is in New York rather than at the team’s spring train­ing com­plex in Port St. Lu­cie, Fla.

If Matz does re­join the ro­ta­tion, he would be lim­ited to 40 or 50 pitches, Collins said.

“He’s not ready to go real far, so we need to make sure we’re not just tak­ing a shot in the dark here and start­ing a guy that we can get only get two in­nings out of,” Collins said. “So we’ll see where he’s at when he comes with his side on Wed­nes­day and see what de­vel­ops from that.”

If Matz can­not pitch, Gabriel Ynoa seems the likely can­di­date af­ter pitch­ing 42⁄ in­nings of one-run ball in his first ca­reer start Sun­day against the Twins.

With Matt Har­vey and Ja­cob deGrom both out for the rest of the sea­son, Matz, who is 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts, would be one of the Mets’ best op­tions for the post­sea­son ro­ta­tion.

How­ever, even if Matz does re­turn, Collins es­ti­mated he would only be able to throw 85 pitches in a po­ten­tial post­sea­son start.

Mean­while, Collins de­cided to hold slump­ing out­fielder Jay Bruce out of the start­ing lineup for the sec­ond straight game. Bruce is hit­ting .181 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 38 games since be­ing ac­quired from the Reds on Aug. 1.

“We just told Jay yes­ter­day, look, we’re go­ing to get you out of here. Just back off for a cou­ple of days, catch your break and get back in there,” Collins said.

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