Mets LHP Steven Matz doesn't know when he'll be able to toe the rubber in a real MLB game in 2020. But he'll remain ready until that day comes.
Like the rest of MLB players, Matz continues to work at his home in preparation for whenever the 2020 MLB season resumes. And that includes virtual meetings with pitching coach Jeremy Hefner to make sure everything -- whether it's mechanics or pitch types -- is copasetic.
Matz would have a few starts under his belt at this point in the season, so Hefner wants him to be working as if that was actually the case.
"I think the biggest thing that Hef has told me is keep the same intent," Matz said via the Mets. "Everything should have a purpose while you're working out or throwing. Keep up the game speed. Act as though this is what you would be doing if the season was going on."
Matz is doing just that with a Mets teammate in reliever Brad Brach, as they both live in the Nashville area. White Sox catcher James McCann has been the one catching their bullpens as well as other major leaguers joining them, too.
"I've thrown bullpens twice a week and been long tossing about five times per week," Matz said. "A close personal friend who was in the military for 26 years has a gym in his garage so I've been working out there too."
While Matz has been in Tennessee, he has been making sure to keep the tri-state area in his mind, too. He made headlines with his heartfelt message to a Glen Ridge, N.J. police officer who was battling the coronavirus, and his TRU32 charity has been helping those fighting the virus on the front lines.
"We started by donating $32,000 to Elmhurst Hospital, the FDNY and NYPD," Matz explained. "Taylor (his wife) and I are really inspired by the selfless acts of first responders, doctors, nurses and those on the front line battling COVID-19. Elmhurst is very close to Citi Field and was hit hard. Our Foundation TRU32 was able to provide them with $12,000 and then the FDNY and NYPD with $10,000 each."
If and when baseball does return, the thought at the moment is to have New York teams playing in their home ballparks, especially after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo just said on Monday that he wants to encourage local sports teams to plan reopening without fans.
The Mets fan base makes Citi Field such an enjoyable place to play, but Matz will certainly take getting to play if it means the fans will be watching from home.
"Especially in New York, we get energy from the fans," he said. "So it will be a little different. But at the end of the day, we're all making adjustments and while we'd love to play in front of our fans, we have to do what the medical experts are telling us to do so everybody is safe and healthy."