Mack Ade - Steven Matz


Good morning.

Steven Matz always seems to be an afterthought when the subject of the Mets starting rotation comes up, even though he probably would qualify to be, at least, the SP2 on half the clubs in the league.

The Melville (L.I.) High School lefty was drafted with the Mets first pick in the 2009 draft, which actually was the 72nd overall pick coming in the 2nd round. His 4-year minor league record produced a stat line of 25-20, 2.24, 1.14, 381-IP, 393-K. This has been followed with 28 starts for the Mets in the past two seasons, that has produced a 13-8 record with a 3.16-ERA. Also impressive is his 8.73/K-9 coupled with a 2.11/BB-9.

Matz hasn’t been healthy throughout his Mets career. It took him over two years to even pitch a pitch and he finished last season on the disabled list as well, but reports from Florida is that he’s now 100% and ready to go for the 2017 season.

Fellow Mack’s Mets writer Reese Kaplan has his own spin on Matz –

Steve Matz has the potential to be a dominant starter in the major leagues.  I personally witnessed him throwing in El Paso against the eventual PCL champion Chihuahuas and he made them look silly.  For a tall guy with a small frame he gets the ball to the plate with excellent velocity and tremendous movement. 

Control is something of an issue for him, with an average of over 3 walks per 9 innings.  While that's not horrible, it bears watching.  He's done a great job keeping hitters from making strong contact and has produced some sparkling ERAs throughout his career. 

Unfortunately, health has always been a problem for him, both at the minor league level and again now in the majors.  Whether it's the inevitable Tommy John surgery, he's also dealt with abdominal issues and a bone spur requiring surgery as well.  He calls to mind other highly talented pitchers like Erik Bedard, Mark Prior and Steve Avery who never seemed to be able to get the 30+ starts year in and year out required by a MLB pitcher.  

Original Mack’s Mets writer (who is also returning to the site this month, David Rubin, had this to say –

           It's hard to say that "player X" is going to be the "difference-maker" in a rotation, especially when that player has only been a pro for a brief time. It's even harder to say that a pitcher who has had a long history of injuries throughout the minor leagues and during his short time in the majors is going to be a "difference – maker"- and yet, potentially, that is what I believe Steven Matz is going to be for the 2017 New York Mets. I really think that 2017 is the year when he stays healthy for an entire season and, as the only lefty in the rotation, he is going to be particularly important against teams like the Washington Nationals.

His stuff makes him a lethal weapon; The fact that he is left-handed makes him a rare one. I am predicting he will go 16 - 8 with a 2.73 ERA, and I think he is going to be a dominating part of the rotation for the next three years at the very least. Lefties who are starters and throw heat at 95mph and above are as rare as the Brewers winning a World Series. Now as long as the boys from Milwaukee don't pull the worlds biggest miracle out of their New Era caps, Mark me down as predicting Matz for 4 straight fantastic seasons!  

I happen to think that Matz has us right where he wants us to be. No one writes stories about him becoming the ace of this staff so he can just keep on doing what he does best... 

I look for continued numbers like he has produced over the past two seasons.


Thomas Brennan said...

Matz came out of the gate smoking hot in 2016, then got a big elbow bone chip. Did not pitch great the rest of the season, then got surgery. Who else got similar surgery? Familia, 3 years earlier. How has he pitched? Fine. Matz also will be fine. Hopefully the next prime time Jerry Koosman.

eraff said...

Matz does remind Me of Steve Avery. Avery was the guy you couldn't resist, as a Young Braves Starter. He did string together 3-35 start seasons before he began to wane (as a very young pitcher).

Woulnd't we ALL love to see a 180 inning plus stat line for Matz?...everything else would follow.

Reese Kaplan said...

Hey, if he turns out to be the Jerry Koosman to the various Tom Seavers I'll be very happy.

JHernandez620 said...

If health continues to be an issue. He'll make one heck of a closer.

Mack Ade said...

J Hernandez -

You know, you are right and God knows we could use some relief.

Adam Smith said...

If Matt stays healthy this year, he's very likely to be a top 5 lefty in baseball. Seriously, he's that good.

Adam Smith said...

Er, that was supposed to say Matz.

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