Mets360 2017 projections: Steven Matz

Steven Matz has been really good the parts of the two seasons we’ve seen him in the majors. Unfortunately, he’s also spent considerable time on the disabled list in both of those years. Matz had offseason surgery to clean out bone spurs in his elbow but what ended his season was irritation in his shoulder. Fortunately, the shoulder did not require surgery and the latest news is that he’s throwing pain-free and will enter Spring Training without any restrictions. Still, the perception is that he’s a walking injury risk. Will this cause us to be more bearish than normal? Here are our individual forecasts:

IP ERA K BB HR FIP ISO
Dalton Allsion 150 3.97 140 40 13 3.26 .173
Joe Barbieri 163 3.48 155 41 17 3.41 .148
John Fox 180 3.00 177 40 15 2.98 .070
Charlie Hangley 163 3.27 112 27 12 3.28 .100
Brian Joura 186 3.16 180 46 18 3.26 .075
Mike Koehler 150 3.33 150 42 17 3.51 .070
Matt Netter 145 3.10 158 60 10 3.16 .083
Jim O’Malley 143 3.20 131 35 13 3.28 .083
Rob Rogan 174 3.35 170 51 15 3.25 .080
Mike Ryan 153 3.12 147 45 16 3.52 .087
Chris Walendin 132 3.35 131 29 11 2.96 .100

Most see him at 163 IP or fewer, which would indicate another DL stay or two. But the overwhelming majority of us see him performing at a very strong rate, with nine of the 11 members of the panel predicting an ERA of 3.35 or better. A 3.35 ERA would have ranked tied for 12th in the NL last year among qualified hurlers. So, we see more of the same – strong pitching when healthy, just not healthy enough to keep off the DL.

Our wildcard category for Matz was his isolated slugging as a batter. My impression of Matz was that he was a pretty good hitter for a pitcher; so, I was surprised to find out that he did not have a homer in the majors. In 59 PA in the majors, Matz has a .080 ISO, a pretty strong mark for a pitcher. Picking a well-known hurler at random, Stephen Strasburg has a .041 ISO in the majors.

Here’s what the group think Matz will do in 2017:

Matz2017

We expect that he’ll be both healthier and better than he was in 2016. Last year Matz threw 132.1 IP and finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year balloting. Ideally a young guy who heads into the season with a clean bill of health would be expected to throw more than 158 innings. So, are we being unusually cautious here? Let’s see what the computer models predict.

IP ERA K BB HR FIP
Mets360 158 3.27 150 41 14 3.23
Steamer 164 3.48 161 48 16 3.47
ZiPS 138 3.46 141 39 15 3.47

We have the most optimistic ERA/FIP but Steamer sees a few more innings. The innings forecast from ZiPS is the most bearish and it seems we would all be a bit disappointed if this is all the innings that the talented lefty could produce this season.

The top comp by ZiPS for Matz is Steve Avery. After a blip last week with a guy who was never really good, ZiPS goes back to tossing out a guy who was good early in his career only to fall apart at a relatively young age. Avery looked like he was getting ready to settle in as one of the top pitchers in the game for a decade or more when in his age 23 season, he posted an 18-6 record with a 2.94 ERA. But he never posted an ERA under four for the remainder of his career. He was done in by a variety of injuries, reminding everyone of the dangers of pitching in general and accumulating three straight years of 200-plus innings in the majors during his age 21-23 seasons.

For what it’s worth, Matz didn’t make his major league debut until age 24 and has never thrown more than 140.2 innings in any season since becoming a professional.

3 comments for “Mets360 2017 projections: Steven Matz

  1. Jimmy P
    February 8, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    When it comes to predicting injuries, you might as well throw darts.

    Nobody knows.

  2. Eraff
    February 8, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Wow…would I love to see this guy make 30 starts!!!!

  3. Metsense
    February 8, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    My prediction, is not as bullish as the consensus. I am most interested in a healthy season.
    170 IP, ERA 3.40, K’s 164, W 41, 18 HR, FIP 3.43, 80 iso
    A healthy season will go far in establishing Matz as a number two starter. With these projections, based on 2016, he would have ranked 19th best ERA, 13th best FIP, and 24th best WHIP among National League starters that pitched 90 innings

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