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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Steven Matz

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MLB: MAR 02 Spring Training - Phillies at Blue Jays Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Steven Matz is a 29-year-old (turn 30 at the end of May), left-handed pitcher. The Blue Jays picked him up in trade from the Mets, for Josh Winckowski, Yennsy Diaz, and Sean Reid-Foley at the end of January.

I think it is fair to say that the trade wasn’t loved. We figured that some of the reason for the deal was to open a spot on the 40-man roster, but Reid-Foley is one of those guys who we always hoped would put it all together at some point. And maybe he will someday. Winckowski is a wild card that many of us thought might end up being part of our bullpen one day.

Matz?

Well, at one time he was a top prospect. Before the 2016 season, he was #9 on Baseball Prospectus list of top 100 prospects and was in a similar spot on other lists.

Since reaching the majors, he’s been, let’s say inconsistent. He made 22 good starts in 2016, putting up a 3.40 ERA. 2017 didn’t go as well, 6.08 ERA in 13 starts. Better in 2018, kind of ok in 2019, and, well, just terrible last year. 9.68 ERA in 30 innings.

Guys who were top prospects tend to get a lot of chances.

Steven throws hard. Fangraphs says his sinker averaged 95.0 MPH last year (and he threw it over 50% of the time). As well he threw a change, curve, and slider. He gets strikeouts (22.2% of the time career, 25.4 last year) and doesn’t walk all that many (7.3% career, 7.0 last year).

In his career batters have hit .261/.322/.443 against him. He doesn’t have much for splits, lefties have a .742 OPS against him, right-handers .770.

We are hoping that Pete Walker can work a little bit of magic with him. So far so good, this spring he’s pitched 5 official innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks with 6 strikeouts. I tell myself not to get excited about five spring innings and yet I do. We get to watch him in a few minutes, I’m hoping that writing about him doesn’t jinx him for today.

ZiPS figures him to have a 4.94 ERA in 26 games, 23 starts, and 120 innings.

PECOTA has him at 22 starts, 127 innings, and 3.97 ERA. That’s an unusually large disagreement in ERA.

Poll

What do you think of the Matz trade now?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Like it
    (179 votes)
  • 34%
    Neutral
    (102 votes)
  • 3%
    Dislike it
    (11 votes)
292 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Matz ERA is 4.00 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Over
    (137 votes)
  • 46%
    Under
    (121 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Matz innings pitched is 140 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Over
    (128 votes)
  • 47%
    Under
    (114 votes)
242 votes total Vote Now