After struggling through their last outings, New York Mets starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are both dealing with bone spurs in their throwing arms.
Matz, 25, exited his last start against the Atlanta Braves on Friday after just four-and-one-third innings. With the Mets ahead 8-0, the left-hander melted down in the fifth inning, finishing his night allowing nine hits and six earned runs. Matz was seen rubbing his elbow in the dugout in between innings, leading to speculation that he’s dealing with an injury.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported that Matz is dealing with the bone spur. The condition is causing pain in Matz’s elbow but is not damaging the ligament, according to Marc Carig of Newsday. While a surgical procedure — that comes with an extended absence — has been discussed, Matz is currently set to start tomorrow night against the Chicago Cubs. The start was pushed back one day as the Long Island native was originally scheduled to start on Wednesday.
— Newsday (@Newsday) June 27, 2016
Per Jon Heyman of TodaysKnuckleBall, Matz has known about the bone spur since May and has received a cortisone shot within the last month. However, he’s not looking to use the injury as an excuse.
“If I’m claiming to be able to pitch, then I have no excuses,” Matz said about his status via ESPN. “I expect myself to go out and pitch like I can.”
In 13 starts this season, Matz is 7-3 with a 3.29 ERA. After a rough first outing to start the year on April 11, Matz went on a tear, winning his next seven starts and not suffering another loss until June 7. After yielding mixed results in his past three starts, Matz’s health was brought into question. Matz underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after signing with the Mets in 2010 and missed a month with a torn lat muscle last season.
While health is always a concern with Matz, general manager Sandy Alderson believes that he can continue to pitch without further injury.
“At this point it’s a function of whether he can tolerate the discomfort while continuing to pitch,” Alderson said. “What we will do is monitor that level of discomfort, monitor his mechanics to make sure whatever discomfort he has doesn’t cause him to do something that might lead to something else, and we’ll monitor it on a start-by-start basis.”
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) June 23, 2016
As for Syndergaard, the hard-throwing right-hander has dealt with flare-ups in his elbow throughout the season. However, each time after seeing a doctor, “Thor” was given a clean bill of health. After his meltdown against the Washington Nationals on Monday, giving up five earned runs in just three innings, Syndergaard’s health was questioned once more.
Ackert reported that Syndergaard is also dealing with a bone spur. The Mets, at Syndergaard’s preference, did not immediately confirm the condition, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Syndergaard, 8-3 with a 2.49 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) this season has been the Mets’ most dominating starter.
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) June 29, 2016
Syndergaard, 23, was reportedly given anti-inflammatory medication and will likely — along with Matz — have to manage the pain throughout the season.
“He knows there is no damage, except he has this small issue he has to deal with and deal with the symptoms, which is discomfort,” manager Terry Collins said of Syndergaard’s elbow.
It’s likely that both pitchers will undergo surgery following the season.
[Featured Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images]