Friday, May 6, 2016


After a spring training that saw him get hit hard and then following a 2016 debut that was an utter disaster, the narrative on New York Mets lefty pitcing phenom Steven Matz changed from massive hype to massive concern.  While I msyelf spoke of how shockingly poor Matz was throwing, I did make it a point to argue that a disjointed spring routine due to a high amount of rain washing out games in Florida and a 7 day layoff before his first start of 2016 combined to get Matz off his schedule and more than likely was the source of his struggles.  While all pitchers have problems when their routines are thrown out of whack, this is especially challenging for young arms like Matz who are still trying to harness their stuff and figure out how to get major league hiters out.

Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon and Matz put the finishing touches on one of the more dominant outings of the 2016 season as he gave up just two hits, struck out 8, and surrendered zero earned runs in 7.2 innings to defeat the Atlanta Braves for his fourth win in a row.  The outing versus the Braves just continued what has been an utterly near-flawless set of performances from Matz since his ugly debut when he gave up 7 runs in only 1.2 innings to begin the year with a 37.80 ERA.  Since that dud, Matz has started four games and rung up the following ace numbers in that stretch: 

4-0 26 IP 21 H 2 ER 5 BB 29 K 0.67 ERA

For the season now Matz has a composite 2.83 ERA and 1.19 WHIP while striking out 30 batters in 282. innings as the lefty is staking him claim to being not only the best pitcher on the ridiculous Mets staff but also one of the best in baseball.  The numbers don't lie here and it just continues a string of awesome professional performances from Matz starting in 2015 when in the launching pad of the PCL at Triple-A Las Vegas.  Prior to his promotion to the Mets last season, Matz put up a sterling 2.19 ERA with a 9.37 K.9.  While Matz dealt with a bunch of injuries with the Mets last season, he still was money when on the mound with a 2.27 ERA and 8.58 K/9 rate.  Matz also threw well in the postseason which added to the hype. 

Where we stand now with Matz is that his ceiling is as high as any young pitcher in baseball and his terrific control, tremendous four-pitch arsenal, and well above-average K Rate point to him being a fantasy baseball ace in the near future.  In fact the numbers say Matz is already there.  While fatigue and more injuries could derail things, Matz is right there with Noah Syndegaard as truly a potential monster starter in the making this season. 

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