Mets’ Steven Matz calls following an opener an ‘intriguing’ idea

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Steven Matz is an old-school guy when it comes to pitching roles: Starters start and relievers relieve.

As the Mets consider various scenarios for their rotation this season that involve Matz — including the possibility he will be used behind an opener — the lefty indicated Saturday his preference is to start games and work as deep as possible into them. But …

“It’s definitely intriguing,” Matz said, when asked about the idea of an opener. “But for me personally it’s just my whole career I have never done that, so it’s different. I am used to starting, warming up for the game, long tossing all that stuff. I think that [opener] stuff is more different. I don’t know how they do it. We’ve never done it really in the big leagues with the Mets, so I don’t know how it is, I don’t know what it’s like so I can’t comment on it.”

Other possibilities include Matz and Michael Wacha sharing a rotation spot, dependent on the opponent, or that Matz will be sent to the bullpen.

He says his focus is securing a rotation spot.

Steven Matz
Steven MatzAnthony J. Causi

“Right now, I am a starter and building up as a starter, just trying to get better every day,” Matz said. “We have got a lot of good pitchers in camp and that is a great thing for us in looking toward our goal of winning the World Series, so really not looking at it as a competition, just doing whatever I can do right now to be the best I can be just to help the team this season.”

Matz allowed one hit over two shutout innings in the Mets’ 2-1 win over the Astros.

David Peterson gave the Mets a second straight solid outing, allowing one run over two innings in relief with three strikeouts. The left-hander pitched two shutout innings in his spring debut.

“He’s working on his changeup definitely, but we see that the fastball is playing very well right now,” said manager Luis Rojas.

J.D. Davis’ left shoulder inflammation has been subsiding, according to Rojas, allowing him to possibly soon resume baseball activities. Davis jammed the shoulder Tuesday diving for a ground ball. Davis has been top-hand swinging in recent days to keep loose without putting too much stress on the left shoulder.

“Every day better news with him,” Rojas said.

The Mets did not have an update on Matt Adams, who was scratched from Thursday’s lineup to undergo cardiac tests.

Max Moroff delivered an RBI double in the ninth inning that scored the go-ahead run in the Mets’ 2-1 victory over the Astros in West Palm Beach, Fla. Jake Hager’s double started the rally.

Pete Alonso struck out twice in three at-bats and left four runners on base, lowering his Grapefruit League batting average to .067. He is still looking for his first homer this spring.

With Mets fans seemingly in the majority at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the Astros heard plenty of boos in the aftermath of their illegal sign-stealing scheme.

The Mets face the Nationals in Port St. Lucie with Jacob deGrom on the mound for his debut this spring. Edwin Diaz and Justin Wilson are among the Mets’ other scheduled pitchers.

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