MIAMI -- One by one, the members of the Mets' Opening Day rotation have succumbed to season-ending injuries. First it was Matt Harvey, who underwent surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome in July. Two months later, Jacob deGrom had an operation to move the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.
Tuesday, the Mets announced that Steven Matz will undergo surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow, ending his season. Matz had been sidelined since mid-August due to a left shoulder impingement that will not require surgery; with his return looking increasingly unlikely, the Mets decided to schedule an elbow operation imminently to give him as much time as possible to heal.
The team expects Matz to be ready for Spring Training.
Thus ends a difficult summer for Matz, who opened the year 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA, establishing himself as a leading National League Rookie of the Year Award contender. Amidst concerns about his elbow, Matz began struggling in June, before the Mets revealed his diagnosis of a bone spur. They said at the time that Matz would pitch for as long as he could tolerate the pain, without fear of doing further damage.
To that end, Mets officials don't believe Matz's elbow and shoulder injuries are related, though it is impossible for them to know for certain. They have used Trackman data at Citi Field to determine that Matz's bone spur did not significantly affect his mechanics.
Regardless of the cause, Matz struggled during the height of summer, going 1-7 with a 4.81 ERA from the start of June through Aug. 3. Two weeks later, the Mets revealed that he was experiencing shoulder soreness, which turned out to be an impingement. Multiple times, Matz attempted to return to a mound, only to experience a string of setbacks.
Matz's rookie season ends with a 9-8 record and 3.40 ERA in 22 starts.
Without Matz, the Mets will most likely proceed with a postseason rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, should they advance to a postseason series.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. 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.