The New York Mets are skipping Steven Matz’s next start due to upper back stiffness, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. News broke early Sunday that Matz was experiencing discomfort near his left scapula, so the team had him throw a bullpen session to test it out. Matz told reporters after the session that he felt fine, but manager Mickey Callaway said in his press conference following the Mets’ 14-2 win that the team had opted to skip Matz in order to play it safe. Matz’s recent struggles, including a disastrous outing against the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday where he gave up seven runs in 3.1 innings pitched, likely influenced the team’s decision.
Callaway did say that Matz could be available out of the bullpen on Tuesday if he shows up to work feeling good. With the off day today, the Mets can simply stick Matz at the back of the line and keep everyone else on normal rest. Noah Syndergaard, who was originally scheduled to start on Wednesday, will pitch tomorrow as the Mets open a six game home stand against the Atlanta Braves. Matz is now slated to start against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday.