deGrom, Matz could 'piggyback' start Sunday

Hurlers may return to take Montero's next rotation turn

September 13th, 2016
"If things are moving forward, then we've certainly got to take a look at it," Terry Collins said. (Getty)

WASHINGTON -- With out of a job while and both near returns from injury, the Mets are considering an unorthodox solution for Montero's next rotation turn.

It's "very possible" deGrom and Matz could both return Sunday against the Twins, according to manager Terry Collins. One of them would start the game, while the other would enter in relief in a "piggyback" situation.

"If things are moving forward," Collins said, "then we've certainly got to take a look at it."

The plan depends on the health of deGrom and Matz. The former played catch on Tuesday afternoon, a day after throwing 35 pitches off a mound at moderate intensity. Though deGrom has not pitched since Sept. 1, he has not reported any discomfort in his previously sore right forearm. As long as that remains the case, the Mets expect him to be ready by this weekend.

Matz has been sidelined since Aug. 14 due to a left shoulder impingement. Rain pushed his scheduled mound session back from Tuesday to Wednesday, meaning the Mets won't know for sure about his status until at least Thursday.

Should one or both of those pitchers not be ready to pitch Sunday, the Mets could entrust the game to a collection of relievers. Or they could skip Montero's rotation turn altogether, using Thursday's team off-day to bring their other four starters back on regular rest.

All that's clear at this point is that Montero, who gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings in Monday's 8-1 loss to the Nationals, will not start another game down the stretch for the Mets.