NEW YORK -- Without much reason to push Steven Matz through a bout of forearm discomfort, the Mets on Friday made the obvious move, placing Matz on the disabled list with a flexor-pronator strain. They expect him to miss only one start.
"There's no reason to push him through at this point," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "In a different scenario, we could. But it doesn't make much sense right now. So we'll give him a little bit of a breather and have him come back ready to go and finish strong."
To replace Matz on the active roster, the Mets recalled right-hander Corey Oswalt, who will start Sunday, from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Adding a bit more clarity to his injury situation, Matz said he felt a bit of forearm discomfort as far back as July 26, when he pitched in Pittsburgh. The sensation returned on Tuesday at Washington when Matz gave up seven runs in two-thirds of an inning, complaining afterward of forearm tightness. But he never considered it a major issue.
"That's why I went out and pitched," said Matz, who has undergone three elbow surgeries, including Tommy John, since the Mets drafted him in 2009. "Stuff comes up during the season. It's part of what we do. We're throwing a baseball as hard as we can. Stuff comes up, and it's just figuring out, 'OK, is this something I've got to be worried about? Or is this something I can gut through?'"
Were the Mets in contention, Matz might have been able to gut through Sunday against the Braves. But with little at stake over the season's final two months, the team decided to give him a 10-day break.
"We have the time right now," said Matz, who is 5-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 21 starts. "Just to miss one start is not the end of the world."
The DL stint gives the Mets another chance to see Oswalt, the Mets' No. 15 prospect who went 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four July starts. Oswalt will be on an extra day of rest after last pitching Monday in Las Vegas.
Playing time machinations
Despite the Mets' assertion that they want to use their young players as much as possible down the stretch, Callaway wrote out Friday's lineup with three 30-somethings who are unlikely to be a part of next year's team -- Jose Bautista, Austin Jackson and Jose Reyes -- in starting roles.
Of most intrigue was the addition of Reyes, who played second base over rookie Jeff McNeil. Callaway said that was due to McNeil needing regular rest after missing most of the past two seasons because of injury.
"One of the challenges with McNeil is he's going to start getting tired, and he's gotten tired throughout the season a little bit because he hasn't played a lot in the last two years," Callaway said, adding that McNeil will start most days down the stretch. "We knew when we called him up that he's going to need some days off."