On March 3, Mike Puma wrote the following, in a discussion of who might start opening day:
"Who should get the nod?  If it were up to me I would give it to Matz,’ one team official said half-jokingly….Matz is expected to begin the season in AAA…., but continues to impress team brass in camp.”

So it got me thinking about Steve Stats, err, I mean Steve Matz.  And the stats of Mr. Matz.  What story do they tell?

Better than one might think.  Better than I thought.  All great.  Check these out…….

Post All Star break 2014 – Matz tosses 8 starts, with an ERA was 1.90, with just 9 walks in 47.1 innings.  Finished 2014 with a surge.

Following those 8 starts came a decent first playoff start, but in his 2nd, the 2014 championship game on Sept 12, he went 7.1 innings, 2 hits, one run, 11 Ks.  Clutch.  But just a fluke, right?  Just...got....lucky, right? Wrong…

In 2013, in the S. Atlantic League playoffs, 2 starts, 12.2 innings, 5 hits, no runs, 17 Ks.  No fluke, my friends.

Pre-All Star 2013, 2.88 ERA, 1.26 WHIP.  Post-All Star, 2.40 ERA, 1.08 WHIP.  Another surge. 
As each season moves along, he gets better.


2012 WHIP vs. righties, 1.00, vs. lefties 2.00.  Hmm, better vs. righties.  But just 29 innings, so not a lot to go on. 

2013 WHIP vs. righties, 1.10, vs. lefties 1.38.  Hmm, still better vs. righties.

2014 (first half season in High A ball): vs. righties, 1.18 WHIP, and 1.43 vs. lefties.  Hmm, still better vs. righties.

2014 in AA after promotion: vs. righties, 1.18 WHIP, but a much-improved 0.91 vs. lefties.  Hmm, still great vs. righties, but real progress vs. lefties.  By year end, real tough on lefties and righties.  Real tough, period.


One in 29 innings in 2012.   Nice.  Four in 106.1 innings in 2013 – 2 in first 7 starts, just 2 in the last 14 starts.  Real nice.  Just 3 in 24 starts in 2014.   Beyond nice.  No homers in 25 career post-season innings.  In all, eight homers in 301 career innings.  Just 8.  By comparison, Logan Verrett surrendered 49 in 411 innings.  Matz hates to let fans get souvenirs, I guess.

As a lefty, pitching to almost all righties – 76% of his batters against have been righties, in fact.  Remarkable to have such HR-stingy success against a heavily righty opposition, and allow just a dead ball era level of homers.

Career ERA:

Thought you'd never ask.  Including playoffs: a superb 2.24 in 301 innings.


17 BBs in 29 innings in 2012…not good.  38 in 106.1 innings in 2013.  Better.  35 in 140.2 innings in 2014 – great.

Never threw an intentional base on balls in 276 innings – why intentionally walk guys you’re better than?

One point of comparison:

Lets compare him to his fellow elite prospect Noah Syndergaard.  Mr S., excluding his tough AAA season last year, had tossed about the same # of innings thru 2013 as Matz has.  306 innings, similar WHIP, but a much higher (while still commendable) ERA: Thor at 2.71 vs. Matz’s 2.24.   And Thor faces far fewer lefties than Matz does righties, an inherent advantage for Thor.

Bottom Line: 

Statistics are Terrific for Steve Matz…I see NO bad ones.  None.
GREAT things are coming for Stevie Wonder.  I have a future stat: why can’t he be a #1 caliber major league starter?  Statistically, I can't think of any reason why not.  It's possible to have five #1 starters, isn't it?


Thomas Brennan said...

Interesting with the Edgin MRI coming up, and an elite minor league lefty in Matz in the organization.

Could an Edgin injury (still to be determined) result in Matz in the bullpen come opening day in Edgin's place? Knowing this organization, one would say no...but the temptation would have to be there if he dominates in his spring outings.

Christopher Soto said...

Goodness I hope not....Matz is the lefty of the future and I'd rather not "Jhenrry Mejia" him from AA into an MLB bullpen role.

Lets remember folks....Matz still has 0 IP of experience above AA.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree it should be a last resort - but if Wilpon wants to win this year, having a crappy lefty or 2 in the pen could be the weak link to submerge this year's squad's playoff chances.

Hobie said...

That would be a panic move IMO.

There is great validity in having a LHP in the rotation—and mid term the Plan A should be for Matz to fulfill that role. Anything that jeopardizes that scheme would be a mistake. Ideally I’d like two, but don’t see who that might be near-term (Sheer talent not withstanding, the extraordinary year of the McNally, Cuellar, Palmer Dobson 20-game win foursome was in part due to variety. Drysdale, Koufax, Sutton, Osteen wasn’t too shabby either.)

That argument gives weight to keeping Niese in the rotation despite my thought experiment of having him pitch regularly for 3 or 4 innings in the first, say 10, Harvey starts. I don’t think it’s hypocritical though. The contrast there the 3rd time through the lineup is, in miniature, what you would like to do with the rotation and you don’t get that stark contrast with a Torres or whomever. And Niese beyond 5 (OK, maybe 6) is problematic anyway.

As for the non-ideal all righty rotation, I would separate Harvey & Wheeler with a Colon (or Gee), the other injected between Wheeler & de Grom. You’re 1-2-3-4-5 doesn’t have to be the rotation ORDER. When Matz is ready, there is another analysis due.

Christopher Soto said...


Blue Jays SP Marcus Stroman is out for the year with a Torn ACL.

(Creates a new potential trade partner for Dillon Gee.)

Thomas Brennan said...

Wow on Stroman - dropping like flies.

Gee's price may be ready to climb.

Good points, Hobie.

Dario Alvarez had another nice outing today - he takes the lead in the lefty reliever sweepstakes if Edgin is out.

eraff said...

Do you guys recognize any possibility that Mets Pitchers can also "drop like flies"?

Tubby is 140 yrs old... Niese and Gee pitched around sore arms in 2014. Harvey is a Post Surgical Patient...DeGrom and Matz have already had TJ's.

They needed to stroke a check or two over the winter---it's now time to show up with who you have and patch it of you're in the race.

Thomas Brennan said...

Eraff, I am of th0e opinio, that the Mets have 9 major league capable starters now (the current 5, Gee, Montero, Matz, and Thor) and possibles in Bowman and Torres. So sure, there could be injuries...but we've got extra if we move Gee.

James Preller said...

Matz, another Omar guy that defies the ridiculous myth of Sandy Alderson inheriting a barren farm system.

eraff said...

I'm not "in" on trading a starter for a LH reliever at this point.

They needed to be busier when pieces were in motion--- I think you now wait and play.

Mack's Mets © 2012