New York Mets: A case to keep Steven Matz in the rotation

Steven Matz has not pitched to his potential for the New York Mets. Some are calling for a bullpen visit. The better option is to keep him in the rotation.

Fans of the New York Mets have been given reasons to believe.  Noah Syndergaard is back in ace form.  DeGrom has been brilliant, and Zack Wheeler is doing enough to give the Mets a chance to win.  While there are still some worry spots, nearly everyone is worried about Steven Matz.

Steven Matz pitched to a 6.08 ERA in a 2017 campaign that started and ended in injury.  He had a good 2016 rookie season, and the hope was high for 2018.

A lot of Mets fans have lost that hope, and Matz has not given much of a reason to keep it.  In his five starts, he hasn’t pitched six innings yet this season.  He has a 4.98 ERA and is giving up 7.5 hits per 9 innings.

The free passes have never been a problem for Matz in the past.  This season has been a different story.  He has already hit two batters, and is walking 4.2 batters per game; two more per game than the last two seasons.

While there is a reason for Mets fans to be skeptical, Matz is capable of turning it around.

While some are calling for a trip to the bullpen, manager Mickey Callaway is sticking with him through at least one more start.  While it looks bleak, Mets fans should not lose hope quite yet.

Callaway may have made some questionable decisions as the manager, but his knowledge of pitching is not up for question.  He was willing to ship Matt Harvey to the pen after four starts, so there must be a reason he’s still rolling with Matz.

Another plus is he is striking out 10.8 batters a game, which is way up from his 6.6 in 2017.  These strikeout numbers show that he still has the stuff to be successful when fully healthy.

Callaway has been impressed with the stuff that Matz possesses. He credits the shortcomings to Matz being unable to slow down when he runs into some trouble.

Matz had his best outing April 7th in Washington.  He struck out eight in five innings without allowing an earned run.

A couple walks and an error in the fifth ran Matz pitch count up, not allowing him to go deeper into the game.  If he can find a way to navigate through a tough batting order like the Nationals, then he has the potential to work through any lineup he faces.

While there has not been much to highlight this season from Matz, Mets fans should not lose hope in his ability to be a quality starting pitcher.  He may not live up to be the “ace”, but all they need is solid production.

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Matz will get another chance against the Colorado Rockies Saturday.  He will have some more rest after getting his start pushed back due to back discomfort.  He threw a bullpen session on Sunday and was feeling “really good” according to an article by Tim Powers of MLB.com.

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