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Mets: Matz shut down for three weeks, Wheeler, Gsellman round out rotation

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Mar 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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The injury to Steven Matz will officially impact the Mets rotation as Opening Day gets closer and closer.

The Mets told reporters today that Steven Matz will not be throwing for another three weeks. While the MRI he was given showed no structural damage, the team is in no rush to bring Matz back into the fold after he felt discomfort in his left elbow this week. He’ll start the season on the disabled list, and just based off the fact that he won’t be throwing for a few weeks, I wouldn’t expect Matz to return until at least mid-May.

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Matz missed his last spring start, and according to manager Terry Collins, would not be able to pitch in the rotation again until at least throwing 80 pitches in a game.

The Mets thankfully have enough pitching depth to ride this wave. The team told the media on Thursday that Zack Wheeler will be getting Matz’s spot for this first start of the season. He’ll be pitching in the fourth game of the year and opening up the series against the Miami Marlins in Citi Field on April 7th.

Wheeler has shown an impressive amount of growth this spring. He’s been completely on board with whatever the team and the doctors suggested, and although he has an innings limit of around 120 this season, that limit seems to be flexible. Wheeler has earned this spot, and I, for one, am happy to see him get it.

Following him in the rotation will be Robert Gsellman. The up and coming right-hander had an absolutely stellar spring, and earned his way onto the rotation without any doubt.

In our latest edition of the Rising Apple Report, we discussed the possibility of the Mets simply skipping their fifth starter this time around, and throwing Noah Syndergaard back out there on regular rest on Saturday, April 8th, but it seems like that won’t be the case.

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The Mets will be trotting out their big guns from 1 to 5 that first week. It’s a shame Matz won’t be a part of that group, but hopefully when he’s ready to come back, he’ll be better and stronger than ever.

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