Matz's status will settle Mets' NLDS roster

Matz's status will settle Mets' NLDS roster

NEW YORK -- With two days to go until National League Division Series Game 1 in Los Angeles (Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET, TBS), the Mets have just one remaining roster decision. If Steven Matz proves ready to pitch after throwing a simulated game Thursday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., he will claim the final spot. If not, left-hander Sean Gilmartin will take Matz's place.

The Mets have informed Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Hansel Robles and Erik Goeddel that they will be in the playoff bullpen alongside closer Jeurys Familia and setup men Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed. If Matz is unable to start Game 4 due to lingering upper back soreness, Colon will slide into the rotation, with Gilmartin assuming his bullpen spot.

A Rule 5 pick who posted a 2.67 ERA in 50 appearances this season, Gilmartin flew with the team Wednesday to Los Angeles, while fellow reliever Carlos Torres traveled to Port St. Lucie to stay in game shape should the Mets need him.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 9 NYM 3, LAD 1
Gm 2 Oct. 10 LAD 5, NYM 2
Gm 3 Oct. 12 NYM 13, LAD 7
Gm 4 Oct. 13 LAD 3, NYM 1
Gm 5 Oct. 15 NYM 3, LAD 2

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Manager Terry Collins also confirmed Wednesday what he had hinted at for days: that outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis will take injured infielder Juan Uribe's spot on the bench.

It has been a whirlwind year for Nieuwenhuis, whom both the Mets and Angels designated for assignment earlier this summer. After returning to New York as a September callup, he hit .222 with a .744 OPS in 30 plate appearances. Nieuwenhuis gives the Mets another left-handed option off the bench, as well as a potential defensive replacement late in games for Michael Cuddyer.

"I've been on so many roster bubbles that I have experience in that part of the game," Nieuwenhuis said, laughing. "I've learned over the course of four years that that's not something you can control. As cliché as that sounds, there's nothing you can do. All you can do is go play the game the way you know how."

In addition to Nieuwenhuis, the Mets' bench consists of Cuddyer (who will start Game 1 against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw), Kevin Plawecki, Juan Lagares, Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores. Collins estimated that Flores lost 10 pounds last week as he fought off strep throat, but has begun eating regularly again and should be close to top form by Friday. Ruben Tejada will start Game 1 at shortstop.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.