Pill to start Tuesday vs. Milwaukee as rotation reinforcements near return
By Danny Knobler
Special to MLB.com |
NEW YORK -- When Tyler Pill starts Tuesday night against the Brewers, he'll be the ninth different starting pitcher the Mets have used this season. That's not ideal, 49 games into the season.
But more changes should be coming to the rotation soon, which is actually much better news. General manager Sandy Alderson said Monday that while Steven Matz and Seth Lugo will each get one more rehabilitation start in the Minor Leagues, both could be ready to join the Mets' rotation right after that.
Matz and Lugo have been on the disabled list since the start of the season, Matz with left elbow inflammation and Lugo with right elbow inflammation. Alderson said both will return as starters, almost certainly pushing Robert Gsellman into the bullpen.
Matz and Lugo both pitched well in Minor League starts Sunday, with Matz especially good over five perfect innings for Triple-A Las Vegas. But in part because Matz only threw 73 pitches Sunday and in part because of a schedule that includes two off-days next week, the Mets decided to have him make another start for Las Vegas this week. Lugo, who threw 79 pitches in six strong innings for Double-A Binghamton, will remain with the Rumble Ponies for one more start.
"We want to get them closer to 90 or 90-plus [pitches]," Alderson said.
In any case, neither Matz nor Lugo would have been available to fill Tuesday's spot, which was open after the Mets sent Rafael Montero to the Minor Leagues. Montero, taking the spot that came open when Noah Syndergaard went on the disabled list, gave up eight runs in 6 2/3 innings in his two starts.
Tommy Milone and Adam Wilk, neither of whom is now on the Mets' active roster, have also started games this season.
Pill, the Mets' fourth-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, made his Major League debut in relief Saturday night in Pittsburgh. Pitching in the 10th inning of a 4-4 game, Pill got two outs but put two runners on base. He took the loss when John Jaso singled off Josh Edgin.
Matz and Lugo could be joining the Mets' rotation around the same time Yoenis Cespedes comes back to New York's lineup. Cespedes, whose rehab assignment was put on hold when he aggravated the same right quad strain that bothered him last season, is about seven to 10 days away from returning to the Mets, Alderson said.
"That's conjecture at this point," said Alderson, noting that the Mets will be able to use a designated hitter for two games next week in Texas.
Familia eyeing 2017 return
Closer Jeurys Familia, on the disabled list since May 12 with a blood clot in his right arm, said Monday he expects to pitch again this season.
"Yeah, if everything goes well, I'll be back this year," Familia said. "Yeah, I think I'll be back. I'm not sure if it will be August or September, but I feel good right now."
Familia said he has another appointment in two weeks with Dr. Robert Thompson, who performed the surgery to remove the clot. The Mets had said at the time they were unsure whether Familia would pitch again in 2017.
Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.