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  1. #1
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    Farm report: L.I.'s Matz flirts with no-no

    Rubin
    Left-hander Steven Matz took a no-hit bid two outs into the sixth inning in his latest start for Class A St. Lucie, when a bunt single by Fort Myers’ Levi Michael ended that pursuit.

    “I’m not really sure how it would have panned out,” said Matz, noting the staff likely would not have let him try to complete the game anyway and disregard a pitch limit.

    As for a bunt breaking up the bid, Matz added: “It was a little frustrating. But he’s got to do what he’s got to do. It’s a 2-0 game in the sixth. He’s a leadoff hitter anyway, so I guess that’s part of his game.”



    Courtesy of New York Mets
    Steven Matz
    A Stony Brook, Long Island, native, Matz is one of three New Yorkers on St Lucie’s roster. His batterymate in that no-hit bid was Hicksville product Cam Maron. Bronx-raised T.J. Rivera plays first and second base and currently leads the Florida State League in batting average at .400.

    Matz and Maron played against each other in summer ball on Long Island growing up -- Matz with the Storm and Maron with the Astros. They currently are roommates with St. Lucie.

    “New York is flourishing on this team,” Matz said.

    Matz, added to the 40-man roster last winter, definitely opened eyes in big-league camp despite having no experience above low-A ball entering this season. One scout compared him to Jeremy Affeldt at the same age. Another scout suggested Matz could have seamlessly bypassed the Florida State League and jumped to Double-A Binghamton to open this season. (That was not a consideration because the Mets wanted to start Matz in warm weather after he missed most of his first two pro seasons with a lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery.)

    Matz, the Mets’ top pick in the 2009 draft (second round, 72nd overall), tossed two scoreless Grapefruit League innings while in big-league camp. He surrendered one two hits and one walk while striking out five in a pair of appearances against the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Matz struck out Yadier Molina, the first batter the young southpaw ever faced in a Grapefruit League game.

    A scout at that game had Matz at 94-95 mph with a high changeup at 85 mph and a rolling curveball at 78-80 mph.

    “Facing him was pretty cool -- just the whole atmosphere, being around big-league guys,” Matz said. “The St. Louis Cardinals were in the World Series last year. And I’m in the other dugout.”

    So far this season, Matz is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in three starts. He has logged 18 innings and allowed 14 hits, three walks and a hit batsmen while striking out 17.

    “This year I really want to focus on going deeper into games,” said Matz, who logged 106 1/3 innings in 21 regular-season starts with Savannah in 2013. “Last year, especially the first half of the year, I wasn’t very efficient with my pitches. My walks were up a little bit (3.2 per nine innings) -- not crazy.

    “My last outing I was pretty happy with how many groundballs I was able to get. My walks have been down. So I’m happy with that.”

    The best news with Matz is that Tommy John surgery is now an afterthought. He underwent the ligament-replacement procedure on May 18, 2010. Because of a long recovery, he did not appear in his first regular-season minor-league game until June 20, 2012.

    “It’s definitely in the rearview mirror,” Matz said. “I’ve got a good season and a half under my belt. My elbow hasn’t given me any problems at all. I really don’t even think about it much anymore.”

    Organization leaders

    Average: Allan Dykstra, Vegas, .419; T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, .400; Brandon Nimmo, St. Lucie, .380; Matt Reynolds, Binghamton, .364; Matt Clark, Binghamton, .354; Eric Campbell, Vegas, .346; Dilson Herrera, St. Lucie, .338; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, .333; Darrell Ceciliani, Binghamton, .327; Zach Lutz, Vegas, .299.

    Homers: Brian Burgamy, Binghamton, 4; Matt Clark, Binghamton, 4.

    RBIs: T.J. Rivera, St. Lucie, 21; Eric Campbell, Vegas, 18; Allan Dykstra, Vegas, 18; Aderlin Rodriguez, St. Lucie, 15.

    Steals: Patrick Biondi, Savannah, 5; Jared King, Savannah, 4; Jeff McNeil, Savannah, 4; Stefan Sabol, Savannah, 4.

    ERA: Hansel Robles, Binghamton, 1.23; Rainy Lara, Binghamton, 1.47; Robert Gsellman, Savannah, 1.56; Jacob deGrom, Vegas, 1.57; Steven Matz, St. Lucie, 2.00; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 2.30; John Gant, Savannah, 3.50; Rafael Montero, Vegas, 3.80; Luis Cessa, St. Lucie, 4.24; Matt Koch, St. Lucie, 4.86.

    Wins: Josh Edgin, Vegas, 3.

    Saves: Jeff Walters, Vegas, 5; Chasen Bradford, Binghamton, 3; Randy Fontanez, St. Lucie, 3; Robert Coles, Savannah, 2; Beck Wheeler, St. Lucie, 2.

    Strikeouts: Rafael Montero, Vegas, 24; Jacob deGrom, Vegas, 21; Dana Eveland, Vegas, 20; Hansel Robles, Binghamton, 19; Darin Gorski, Binghamton, 18.

    Short hops

    • First baseman Allan Dykstra was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday. Dykstra is a former first-round pick of the Padres under Paul DePodesta, who was part of a change-of-scenery trade for Eddie Kunz on March 29, 2011. Dykstra’s .419 average ranks seventh in all of minor-league baseball. His .561 on-base percentage ranks first. Dykstra, 26, was playing winter ball with Magallanes in Venezuela when he suffered a fractured fibula on Nov. 14.

    • After deliberation, the Mets decided to have 18-year-old Dominic Smith break camp with low-A Savannah rather than have the 2013 first-round pick remain in extended spring training (like 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini had done the previous year). So far, Smith is off to a slow start with the Gnats. The first baseman is hitting .175 (10-for-57) with five walks and no extra-base hits through 16 games.

    • Fans can catch Smith and Cecchini with the Gnats this weekend in their only Northeast appearance of the season. Savannah has a four-game series at Lakewood, N.J., beginning Thursday.

    • Lefty-throwing Charley Thurber, a 39th-round pick out of the University of Tennessee in 2011 as an outfielder, is converting to pitching in extended spring training. Thurber, 24, hit .227 with five homers and 39 RBIs in 277 at-bats with St. Lucie in 2013. The Mets had seen Thurber throw off a mound during a pre-draft workout, although the Elmira, N.Y., native was not a pitcher for the Vols.

    • First baseman Brandon Allen, who suffered a calf strain and was confined to a boot in big-league camp during spring training, should join Las Vegas soon. Allen has appeared in four games with St. Lucie since returning from the injury (two at first base, one at DH and one in right field). The 28-year-old lefty hitter has appeared in 116 big-league games over four seasons with the Diamondbacks, Athletics and Rays.

    • Noah Syndergaard has a 4.95 ERA through four starts with Vegas, although Mets personnel suggest those struggles are just an inevitable adjustment period to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

    • Although the Mets do plan to expose Vegas pitchers such as Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero to relief work in Triple-A, that is not coming imminently. DeGrom is off to a particularly hot start with the 51s. He is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in four starts. In 23 innings, he has allowed 16 hits and six walks while striking out 21. He has surrendered only one homer.

    • Zack Thornton, the right-handed reliever acquired from the Pirates in the trade for Ike Davis, made his Mets debut with Vegas on Sunday. He allowed a solo homer and two other hits while striking out one in two innings.

  2. #2
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    #Matzisabeast

  3. #3
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    Matz has been a GB machine so far. 60% GB rate, and his walks are down too.

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    Harvey,Wheeler,Syndergaard,Mejia and Matz mid-2015 rotation. Very slim chance of happening but I wish it happens.



    The Future

  5. #5
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    Trade him now before he starts a twitter account
    Go Grab My Belt

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mets100% View Post
    Harvey,Wheeler,Syndergaard,Mejia and Matz mid-2015 rotation. Very slim chance of happening but I wish it happens.
    Matz won't break the 2015 rotation unless there are multiple injuries.

  7. #7
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    As I've stated before, Matz has no business being in A ball. He needs to be in Binghamton where he could be challenged. Dominating younger inexperienced hitters is not going to help his growth.

    Matz is completely healed from his injuries and babying him isn't going to help him grow.

    While I understand the idea that he should start in the warm weather of Florida, I think he would be better served to learn how to pitch in the colder weather since that's what he's going to face in NY.


    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
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  8. #8
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    While he is 23, we have to remember that he was a HS kid. They aren't babying him, and if he continues to dominate, he'll see AA soon. How he does there will determine whether or not he starts in Vegas in 2015.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Magoo View Post
    As I've stated before, Matz has no business being in A ball. He needs to be in Binghamton where he could be challenged. Dominating younger inexperienced hitters is not going to help his growth.

    Matz is completely healed from his injuries and babying him isn't going to help him grow.

    While I understand the idea that he should start in the warm weather of Florida, I think he would be better served to learn how to pitch in the colder weather since that's what he's going to face in NY.
    The FSL All-Star game is June 14. He likely will not be promoted until after the game. At that time all organizations generally move players around.
    John Maeda@johnmaeda

    Knowing the overall *shape* of an idea, argument, situation requires as many facts, models, opinions as you can take/make to see a whole.

  10. #10
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    Matz being a LI has pitched in colder weather before am sure, he will likely go to AA after a couple of more starts.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugmet View Post
    The FSL All-Star game is June 14. He likely will not be promoted until after the game. At that time all organizations generally move players around.
    Other than the notion that you think this is what the team wants, why is it in his best interests?

    I agree that this is SOP, but I don't believe all prospects are created equal, nor should they be treated equally.


    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
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  12. #12
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    Sickels
    Minor League Notes: Steven Matz, Jake DeGrom

    A couple of notes today about a pair of interesting New York Mets pitching prospects: Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom. Both are Tommy John survivors.

    Steven Matz: Matz was selected in the second round in 2009, from high school in East Setauket, New York. The Mets didn't have a first-rounder that year so he was the top pick. Unfortunately he didn't have an early opportunity to justify this, missing all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery and all of 2011 after the elbow did not bounce back quickly. He made just six starts in 2012 (this time due to shoulder problems) but they were good starts, with a 1.55 ERA and a 34/17 K/BB in 29 innings with just 16 hits allowed for Kingsport in the Appalachian League.

    Matz finally put in a full season in 2013 and was quite good, with a 2.62 ERA, 121/38 K/BB in 106 innings for Low-A Savannah. 2014 has been just as strong so far: 2.00 ERA with a 17/3 K/BB in 18 innings for High-A St. Lucie.

    Matz is a 6-2, 200 pound southpaw born May 29, 1991. Arm strength isn't the question here: he can hit the mid-90s and his fastball has good sinking action. As you might anticipate given his lost development time, his secondary pitches are inconsistent. His curve is erratic and he needs to use his changeup more often. Reports indicate that his A-ball success is due to aggressive use of a fastball that over-matches inexperienced hitters with velocity and movement.

    Given the injury history and the issues with secondary pitches, the bullpen may be Matz's ultimate destination. However, it makes sense to use him as a starter for now. There is considerable upside here; if the curve and change continue to improve, and if his arm doesn't fall off, he could become a number three starter. Those are big ifs, of course. He should reach Double-A later this year and we'll get a better read on his future at that point.


    Jacob deGrom: Drafted in the ninth round in 2010 out of Stetson University, deGrom was originally a shortstop but turned to pitching his junior year and was quickly successful. His pro career started slowly, Tommy John surgery costing him all of 2011, but he returned in '12 and was effective with a 9-3, 2.43 ERA, 96/20 K/BB in 111 innings in A-ball.

    2013 was less impressive stat-wise with a 4.80 ERA and a 44/20 K/BB in 60 innings for Double-A Binghamton, followed by a 4.52 ERA with a 63/24 K/BB in 76 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas. He ate innings through and proved his durability. He's been excellent so far in '14: 1.57 ERA in 23 innings for Vegas, with a 21/6 K/BB, just 16 hits allowed and a 3.00 GO/AO.

    DeGrom is a 6-4, 185 pound athlete born June 19, 1988. He throws easy strikes with a killer sinker that can hit the mid-90s and his changeup gets good reviews. The key issue for him is developing a better breaking ball, but whatever he's doing right now is working. It is likely we'll see him in the majors later this year and he's got a shot at being a number three or four starter eventually.
    http://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/...rom-tommy-john

  13. #13
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    Toby Hyde suggested the Mets might bring him up after he makes 7-8 starts in St. Lucie (he already has 3). I saw it on Metsblog so its possible we see him in Binghamton before the end of May. If he keeps pitching like this, I think that would propel him fairly quickly.
    Last edited by metswon69; 04-23-2014 at 02:33 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by metswon69 View Post
    Toby Hyde suggested the Mets might bring him up after he makes 7-8 starts in St. Lucie (he already has 3). I saw it on Metsblog so its possible we see him in Binghamton before the end of May. If he keeps pitching like this, I think that would propel him fairly quickly.
    That means unless he starts 2015 in Binghamton, he'll never get a taste of cold weather pitching until he hits the majors. Poor preparation for one of their top pitching prospects IMO. The purpose of the minors is to prepare your prospects to be major leaguers, especially your top prospects.

    Moving him up after 7-8 starts tells me that they know he should have been in Binghamton already, but they babied him to protect him from cold weather. If they still had AAA in Buffalo, this would be less of an issue. Cold weather pitching takes a much different preparation that Matz hasn't experienced yet.

    No one can legitimately argue that he's not ready for AA at this point. He should have started the year there.


    Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.
    -Sun Tzu

  15. #15
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    Like Sick said, he's from LI and he's pitched in cold weather before. That's such a minor concern honestly. What's most important is the development of his pitches and experience.

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