Starting pitcher Steven Matz will not be on the team’s Opening Day roster due to an elbow issue, the New York Mets announced on Wednesday. The lefty had surgery for a bone spur on the same arm this past offseason, but the MRI revealed no structural damage. Instead he received a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection.
According to the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh, it should take Matz two to four weeks to return to pitching activities and even longer to get back onto the mound.
The Met’s bad injury luck continues, and it just seems the team cannot start a season without being hit by a major injury to its pitching staff anymore. Matz had a 3.40 earned run average (ERA) with 129 strikeouts in 132 innings pitched in 2016. The lefty was expected to be a top of the line fantasy baseball starting pitcher this season. The injury instantly puts him on team;s disabled list roster spot, if not the waiver wire.
In a corresponding move, the Mets announced Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler will round the teams pitching rotation. Both pitchers are worth owning in fantasy leagues as both have proven to be assets in the past. However, Gsellman may be be the safer option.
Gsellman made his Major League debut last season, finishing the year with a 2.42 ERA and 42 strikeouts in seven starts. He only allowed one run in 44 innings pitched last season. While that pace is difficult to maintain, the skill will prove invaluable when he plays his home games at Citi Field. Gsellman’s 2.31 ERA is the lowest among the team’s starting pitchers this spring.
Wheeler has made the Opening Day Roster and the team’s pitching rotation after not playing in a Major League Baseball game since 2014. He has dawned a 5.11 ERA in 12.1 innings while striking out seven batters this spring. He has undergone Tommy John Surgery and a flexor strain in his absence. But he will start the team’s fifth game of the season. But he will not be the most attractive fantasy asset because of the risk of reinjury after not pitching for two seasons. But Wheeler’s lifetime 3.50 ERA in 49 starts should warrant strong consideration. But the risk is evident.