A source confirmed following Thursday's 2-0 win over the Brewers that Matz, a left-handed pitcher and the Mets' top overall prospect according to MLB.com, will debut at Citi Field as part of a six-man rotation. Manager Terry Collins said earlier in the day that he plans to make an official announcement Friday regarding the rotation.
Matz, 24, last pitched for Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday in Salt Lake City, putting him on schedule to start Sunday against the Reds. He leads the Pacific Coast League with seven wins, a 2.19 ERA and 94 strikeouts, also walking 31 batters in 90 1/3 innings. By waiting until late June to promote Matz, the Mets should avoid having him become a Super Two arbitration-eligible player later in his career.
Matz is the latest in a long line of Mets starting pitching super-prospects, a run that began with Matt Harvey's debut in 2012. Zack Wheeler arrived on the scene a year later, followed by Jacob deGrom -- a less-hyped prospect, but now pitching better than any of them -- last year and Noah Syndergaard this summer.
Multiple arm injuries, including a Tommy John surgery in 2011, initially derailed Matz's path to the big leagues. But he rebounded with a tremendous season at Class A Savannah in 2013, zipping through the system in the year and a half since.
"I don't think he flies under the radar," Las Vegas pitching coach Frank Viola recently said of Matz, a Long Island native whom the Mets selected with their top overall pick -- a second-rounder -- in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. "The kid's just got incredible stuff. He's left-handed and he's young and he's getting it."
The Mets dabbled with a six-man rotation earlier this season, but abandoned it in part to the pitching staff's reaction to it. Now, it appears they are going back to it, at least temporarily. The Mets need to limit the innings of Harvey, deGrom and Syndergaard, and a six-man rotation gives them an efficient way to do it.