Matz Taking It Easy This Time

Matz had to shut it down back in May

Steven Matz was the Mets top pick in the 2009 MLB Draft and he has yet to officially make his professional debut two full years into his career. He was oh-so close to making that long awaited arrival back in May but hit another snag in his rehab back from Tommy John surgery. Now down at Instructs, he's hoping to reach another milestone in his latest comeback bid.

"Back in May, just a little bit before 12 months [after the surgery], I was throwing live [BP] and facing hitters in simulated games, and my elbow kind of blew up on me and set me back a lot," Matz revealed.

"I tried to rest it a couple of weeks and went up to see Dr. Altcheck and got a PRP [Platelet Rich Plasma] injection. I tried throwing again and it was still hurting. I shut it down again and got a second opinion from Dr. Andrews and said it pretty much wasn't healed yet.

"I got another PRP injection, rested another six weeks, and started throwing again. That's where I am right now. I should be throwing a bullpen here in a few days."

While it has been frustrating for Mets fans to await his official arrival to the organization by making it into his first game, it's even more so for the young left-hander.

"It's such a bumpy road back from this surgery, especially when you see guys come back from it with no problem. For me it has been so rough. I just have to go on being optimistic. I don't even know what to say at this point anymore.

"It's pretty embarrassing that I've been here for almost three years and I haven't even thrown [in an official game] yet. It is what it is. I've literally tried everything. It's been tough but hopefully I can put all of that stuff behind me."

He finished the final stage of the flat surface portion of the throwing program this week, long-tossing from 150 feet, and he is expected to throw his first bullpen session since May later this week.

"I've been throwing long-toss and it feels pretty good," he said. "Honestly I'm not even going to push it at all. I'm just going to take it nice and easy, and just go into the offseason knowing my arm feels fine."

If there is one encouraging sign to his whole ordeal this season, it's the fact that he was actually throwing harder after Tommy John surgery before having to be shut down this season.

"Back in May I had more zip than I ever had in my life," he said. "I was sitting where I normally would top out at. I guess it was just too much too soon for my elbow. By the end it was just hurting again.

"My arm was strong as it could be at that time from all of the rest and rehab, and throwing program. I think I pushed it too far."

Not about to make the same mistake twice, Matz doesn't want to push it right before the start of the offseason in the hopes of being fully recovered in time for Spring Training next year.

"At this point I'm at Instructs and there's only like nine days left or something. I'm going to throw two bullpens [at Instructs], all fastballs, and just make sure I'm healthy going into the offseason and just shut it down.

"I was really hoping to be playing in the short-season [leagues] and my arm was actually feeling pretty good back then, and I just pushed it too much. This time I'm just going to take it nice and easy. I've got nine days left, there's no reason to air it out now."

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