Mets' Steven Matz to Undergo Surgery for Elbow Injury

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz leaves the baseball game during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz is headed to the disabled list with an arm issue that has apparently been a problem for much of the season.

The Mets announced Monday that after Matz underwent an MRI and CT scan on his left elbow, he was diagnosed with irritation of the ulnar nerve. Surgery "has been recommended" and will be scheduled soon, according to the team. 

Marc Carig of Newsday reported Matz has been playing through pain all season. Manager Terry Collins said Tommy Milone will likely start Tuesday for the Mets, per Steve Gelbs of SNY.

"This is not an injury," Collins said Monday in reference to Matz, per Abbey Mastracco of "This is a situation of, he needs to shut it down for a little while. I haven't talked to Sandy about it, so I'm not going to get into the whole medical thing just yet, but if he had to, he could pitch tomorrow. We're going to probably put him on the DL."

A prolonged injury could explain Matz's yearlong struggles. After posting a 3.40 ERA in 22 starts in 2016, he has just a 2-7 record this season with a 6.08 ERA. He allowed seven runs (six earned) in just 3.1 innings in his last start against the New York Yankees on Thursday.

After missing the first two months of the year with an elbow injury, it's clear he never got on track.

The Mets are also no strangers to injury disputes. Noah Syndergaard went to the DL this year after refusing to get an MRI, while Matt Harvey pitched with a stress injury in his shoulder before going on the DL. Starters Seth Lugo and Zack Wheeler are also out with injuries in an unlucky year for the Mets rotation.

Although New York is far out of the playoff race with 40 games left in the season, the team has to be concerned about the future health of its young pitchers.