OK, maybe I’m a little concerned about Steven Matz, whose had a rough spring training for the Mets. However, I’m concerned because Matz was clearly frustrated after giving up three runs on five hits in four innings Thursday.
If Matz is unhappy with his performance, maybe he hasn’t yet bought into the notion of spring training is to get ready for the season.
“At this point I’m starting to want results a little bit, and they’re not there yet,” Matz told reporters. “But out of the gates, I felt good. I felt like my curveball was working decent, and that’s usually the last thing that comes. So I’m happy with that.”
Overall, he’s not pleased with where he is at this point during spring training. You also have to understand Matz has had surgery and didn’t have an overwhelming workload in 2015. Perhaps he hasn’t built himself up yet to endure the grind of a full season. But, nothing is hurting and that’s the key.
Even Terry Collins suggested Matz isn’t there physically.
“Steven got a little tired, but he threw the ball great for a while,” Collins said. “We’ve got to get him in [pitching] shape.”
Matz has three more starts before the season begins, and currently is projected to relieve Jacob deGrom in the second game of the season. However, deGrom’s wife, Stacey, is expecting around that time and he might not pitch at all. In that case, Matz could get the start.
Could those three starts be enough to build up Matz’s stamina? Perhaps.
However, what could be an issue is Collins thinking Matz isn’t physically ready coupled with Matz’ frustration level. The last thing he needs to do is push himself.
You know, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if Matz is held back for an extended spring training and be brought up at the end of April or early May. The Mets have other options in Logan Verrett or Rafael Montero, and the schedule has a lot of off days early where Collins can juggle.
The important thing is to not rush him to the point where he could be injured or lose his confidence. So what if he starts 31 games instead of 34.