Mets’ Steven Matz delivers gem in battle for rotation spot

Mets’ Steven Matz delivers gem in battle for rotation spot

PORT ST. LUCIE — Luis Rojas said it’s “still too early” to know how the Mets will construct their rotation, but so far this spring, his starters are giving the team plenty to think about.

That continued Saturday, when Steven Matz retired all nine batters he faced in a 5-0 loss to the Nationals at Clover Park.

Matz’s status remains uncertain thanks to the addition of free agents Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello, who have also pitched well this spring.

“We haven’t put it out there as a competition,’’ Rojas said. “We’ve talked to our starters about them being starters. They’re all throwing so well.”

Matz helped his cause in his third start of the spring, featuring a terrific curveball that fooled hitters throughout his appearance, which came on extra rest.

“I felt really good, especially with my offspeed [stuff],’’ Matz said. “To have that curveball so early in the spring, that’s something that normally comes at the end. I feel really comfortable with it, so I’m happy.”

Steven Matz
Steven MatzAnthony J. Causi

Matz struck out Victor Robles looking and got Starlin Castro swinging in the first inning, both on curveballs.

He’s not sure, however, where he stands when it comes to nailing down a spot in the rotation.

“I don’t know,’’ Matz said. “I’m just pleased with where I’m at personally.”

Matz said he’s not placing too much stock on the numbers yet.

“Spring training is not really about results because you don’t throw all your stuff,’’ Matz said. “You want to work on stuff, but when you do get results, you know the stuff you’re working on is able to get hitters out. That’s a positive.’’

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