New York Mets left-hander Steven Matz is entering his sixth season in the big leagues. Across 103 appearances, 101 of which have been starts, Matz has recorded a 4.05 ERA, a 4.30 FIP, a 1.30 WHIP and 516 strikeouts.
Matz has caught the eye of his new manager, Luis Rojas, in summer training, as the skipper says the southpaw’s curveball has been “really good” (quotes by means of Zach Braziller of the New York Post).
“The velo difference in the ones that he’s throwing is really good,” manager Luis Rojas said of the velocity. “There are some things he can do off that curveball with his fastball, up in the zone or sneak one on. There are so many things he can do. Adding that weapon to the contrast of his pitches and repertoire of his pitches, it will be great for us and himself.”
According to FanGraphs, Matz threw his curveball roughly 14.9 percent of the time while clocking it in at roughly 78.6 mph last season.
Rojas gives props to pitching coach Jeremy Hefner for his work with the Mets pitching staff.
“I know Hef is really good at working on expanding repertoires and teaching details of release points,” Rojas said.
Right-hander Noah Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery in March which will keep him off the field this season. The Mets starting rotation projects to be Matz, Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and free agent signees Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello in some order.
Last season Matz recorded a 4.21 ERA, a 4.60 FIP, a 1.34 WHIP and 153 strikeouts across 32 appearances, 30 of which were starts.
Rojas says that both a player’s past and the way they look in summer camp will play a role in finalizing the roster.
“It will be a balance of both,” Rojas said.
“It should be a late, late call as far as getting real close to the season for that,” he said.
Matz is under team control through 2021.