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Blue Jays mid-term report card: Steven Matz

Seattle Mariners v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

Steven Matz was terrific through his first four starts of the season. 2.31 ERA through 23.1 innings. We thought we had the next coming of Roy Halladay.

In the ten games since: 5.69 ERA in 49 innings, 64 hits, 13 walks, and 53 strikeouts. Not exactly Cy Young type numbers.

I don’t know what has changed. Matz still is getting a lot of strikeouts, and he isn’t walking many. And he’s only given up eight home runs in that time. But batters hit .311/.363/.490 against him over that time.

In total, he is 7-3 (win/loss records are so weird), with a 4.60 in 14 starts. Batters hit .270/.330/.433 against him. However, his FiP is 3.88, so perhaps he’s had some bad luck. We do score a ton of runs for him, averaging 5.98, though there was a 15 run game in there. Without the 15 run games, his average run support is 5.08 per game. Which is still a lot of runs. The team has scored 3 or fewer runs in 3 games. He has been pretty blessed.

Baseball-Reference has him at a 0.6 WAR. FanGraphs 1.0.

He has been terrible with RISP, with batters hitting .362/.431/.690 against him in those spots, which would explain why his ERA is higher than his FiP. He is better with the bases empty than with anyone on. Better in the windup than the stretch?

I don’t know what is going on. The pitches seem to be good. 94.8 MPH on a sinker seems pretty good. The change seems good, slider and curve all seem good. He doesn’t walk guys and he doesn’t give up a ton of home runs. He just gives up hits. Lots of hits.

Matz seems the answer to the question of who would come out of the rotation if the Jays add a starter before the trade deadline. Maybe over the All-Star break, they can figure out what is going on with him and how to fix it.

Or maybe, if they plan to bring Thomas Hatch up, as a starter, Matz could be the long man in the pen?


For the first half, I’d give Steven Matz an

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