Steven Matz being examined, unlikely to be ready for opener

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New York Mets manager Terry Collins announced that left-hander Steven Matz likely will not be ready for Opening Day because of tenderness in his left elbow.

"Unlikely Steve will start the season with us, yes," Collins said to reporters on Wednesday.

"He's being examined today," Collins added. "We should know more, but we don't plan on having him pitch the next few days."

Matz likely will have an MRI, Collins said. The lefty threw on the side on Monday and Tuesday and was still feeling pain.

"Nothing's changed over the last couple of days," Collins said. "It's just that the last two days he played catch, and he still feels it, so we thought it would be important to have him looked at."

Matz had been projected as the fifth starter in the rotation. The team has not said who will take his place in the rotation, but the likely candidates are Seth Lugo and Zack Wheeler.

The Mets open the season April 3 against Atlanta.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said on Monday that the problem has bothered Matz for "a period of time."

The GM added that the team doesn't think the issue is serious, but it's "worrisome" because Matz has continued to have injuries during his short career with the Mets.

Matz gave up five runs and eight hits in four innings against Miami last Wednesday. He is 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in four starts this spring.

Matz was 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts in 2016, but he was shut down last September and had surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.