NEW YORK -- The Mets aim to throw their three most consistent starters at the crosstown-rival Yankees next weekend when the teams play a three-game series at Citi Field, though manager Mickey Callaway did not say in what order Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard -- who would be
NEW YORK -- The Mets aim to throw their three most consistent starters at the crosstown-rival Yankees next weekend when the teams play a three-game series at Citi Field, though manager Mickey Callaway did not say in what order Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard -- who would be coming off the disabled list -- were slated to pitch.
Seth Lugo, who threw four scoreless innings in a spot start on Thursday, will again be pitching out of the bullpen.
After confirming that Jason Vargas and Zack Wheeler would be the starters for the two-game series against the Orioles that begins on Tuesday, Callaway was asked about the Subway Series and replied, "Right now, we're hoping it's the other three.
"That would be nice against the Yankees."
Syndergaard was placed on the DL on May 29 (retroactive to May 26) with a strained ligament in his right index finger. The right-hander has resumed playing catch and will throw a bullpen session on Sunday before the series finale between the Mets and Cubs at Citi Field.
Lugo allowed three hits and walked none in a 60-pitch effort against the Cubs on Thursday. The righty has experience as a starter, but he has been effective in relief this season.
Calloway said it was not an easy decision and that he anticipated Lugo could next pitch in relief in Sunday's series finale vs. Chicago.
"We gave it a ton of thought," Callaway said. "I think that the last week and a half, or whatever it's been, has solidified what we feel is Lugo's true value to our team at this point, and that's being in the bullpen. Being one reliever short, we had three available relievers last night. So having Lugo in the 'pen [makes us] a better team at this moment."
Though deGrom, Matz and Syndergaard all had ERAs under 4 entering play on Saturday, none has done especially well when facing the Yankees. deGrom is 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA, Matz is 1-2 with a 7.63 ERA, and Syndergaard is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA.
Frazier on the mend, but Bruce a scratch
The Mets got equal doses of good news and bad news on injuries on Saturday. The good news was that third baseman Todd Frazier was going to play a full nine innings for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday in his third rehab game and could return from his hamstring injury soon. The bad news is that outfielder/first baseman Jay Bruce had to be scratched from the lineup on Saturday as the back issues that forced him from Friday night's loss persisted.
Prior to batting practice, Bruce expected to play, but his back spasms resumed when he tried to loosen up. He called the decision "being cautious."
Mets get pep talk
James Kerr, who played professional rugby and authored "Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life," spoke to the Mets for approximately one hour before batting practice on Saturday. Callaway didn't give details on the topics covered, saying only, "Today we made some big strides, in my opinion, on educating guys on certain things we need to accomplish in our organization -- to be more consistent, to be a better organization overall."
Roger Rubin is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.