Move Matz to the bullpen
Matz doesn’t strike me as the type of pitcher who would automatically succeed in a relief role. Call it a gut feeling.
There are some starters who look like they could make the switch much easier. Matt Harvey, for instance, seemed like a perfect candidate. We saw what he was like at the top of his game. Moving to a relief role looked perfect for him. Sadly, he didn’t accept it.
Matz could always prove us wrong. He has had big league success. At his age, he shouldn’t be done just yet.
The worry with moving Matz to the bullpen full-time goes beyond just a feeling. It is well-documented that his worst inning is the first. As a reliever, we wouldn’t expect him to go more than an inning or two most nights. This is asking for trouble.
I still wouldn’t pass up the chance to experiment with Matz in a relief role because of this. If he’s going to stay in an orange and blue uniform, it’s the best way to keep him around. Optioning him to the minor leagues is one last resort option. I would prefer to see what he can possibly give the big league squad before sending him to Syracuse.
There’s a chance Matz doesn’t even make the 2021 Opening Day roster. If you remember, Zack Wheeler began 2018 in Triple-A. Depending on the other moves made by this franchise between now and Opening Day 2021, Matz could end up as an outsider and future emergency starter.
If he’s not in the rotation or the bullpen, there is one final place the Mets can go.