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Collins considering temporary six-man rotation

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- After the Mets finish their two-game set in Texas on Wednesday and have an off-day Thursday, they'll embark on a stretch that sees them play 18 games in 17 days.

And with the impending returns of Steven Matz and Seth Lugo, manager Terry Collins is considering using a six-man rotation for that stretch.

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ARLINGTON -- After the Mets finish their two-game set in Texas on Wednesday and have an off-day Thursday, they'll embark on a stretch that sees them play 18 games in 17 days.

And with the impending returns of Steven Matz and Seth Lugo, manager Terry Collins is considering using a six-man rotation for that stretch.

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"We have talked about all of it," Collins said. "We haven't etched in stone anything because we really don't know, until we see Steven and Seth pitch, where we're at. … There has been some discussion that perhaps during this [18-game] stretch that maybe a six-man benefits everybody. But we haven't decided."

Collins said his starters throw better with an extra day of rest, and adding another starter would offer that to his team, which won't have a day off for more than two weeks, beginning with Friday's game in Atlanta.

"We're starting to look like we're getting in shape," Collins said. "This is what we planned on, certainly from the beginning when we reported in February, to have those guys on this staff. Hopefully they're ready and raring to go, which I know they are; I talked to them both today. It's just now about going out there and getting their feet on the ground."

Matz is scheduled to start Saturday in one of the doubleheader games against the Braves, and Lugo will start Sunday.

A six-man rotation comes at the expense of an extra arm in the bullpen, but Collins sounded confident the extra day of rest will aid his starters in going deeper into games and prevent the bullpen from getting overworked.

"So far, when we've brought them back after four days, certainly on regular rest, it hasn't been quite as good, so that's why we're considering going to a six-man," Collins said. "But you're still only going to have seven guys in the 'pen, so we've got to make sure we can still get us deeper in the games because we don't have a lot of replacements."

If the Mets were to give the go-ahead on moving to a six-man rotation, Collins emphasized that it would to be just to get his team through the heavy stretch they're about to have, not something long term.

Matz and Lugo joined the team in Texas, and both players said they're good to go.

"I'm feeling good," Matz said. "I got 90 pitches in my last start, and I'm feeling healthy."

Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. He covered the Mets on Tuesday.

New York Mets