Monday, April 11, 2016

Matz, Cosart make long-awaited '16 debuts in NY

After playing the waiting game since the season began, Marlins right-hander Jarred Cosart and Mets lefty Steven Matz are finally ready to pitch. Both will make their season debuts on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Citi Field.
Until now, the two starters had to show patience, because they could have been used in a variety of roles.
Cosart, for instance, was scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Nationals. But because of Saturday's postponement due to weather, the Marlins pushed the right-hander back a day. So instead of closing out one road series, Cosart gets the ball in the series opener in New York, replacing Wei-Yin Chen, who is now slated to start Wednesday.
Chen was shaken up on Opening Day, when he was struck on the left elbow by a comeback line drive in the second inning. The lefty remained in the game and got through five innings.
"You're going to have rainouts and weather issues," Cosart said. "You can't really prepare for it. I've thrown my bullpens on schedule. ... You can't look too much into it."
During the Mets' opening series, Matz was available out of the bullpen last Tuesday in Kansas City, but he didn't pitch.
The lefty, who was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA last year, is one of the promising rookies in the National League. Matz retains his rookie eligibility after throwing just 35 2/3 regular-season innings last season, putting him alongside the Dodgers' Corey Seager as a preseason favorite for the National League award.
Three things you need to know
• Mets closer Jeurys Familia was under the weather Sunday with a minor illness. The Mets hope he will be back to full strength in time for Monday's series opener, particularly considering the team is already short in the bullpen. Logan Verrett will be unavailable to pitch because he is starting in place of Jacob deGrom on Wednesday.
• Two-time All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, the defending NL batting champion, enjoyed tremendous success against the Mets in 2015. In 19 games, Gordon hit .427 (35-for-82), his highest batting average vs. any opponent.
• Yoenis Cespedes did his share of damage when playing the Marlins last year, belting three home runs while driving in nine runs in nine meetings.

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