Geez, what is it about Steven Matz?!

The puns have been outpouring faster than illogical movies by Christopher Nolan.  Maybe it’s because he pitches for the Metz?  I don’t know!

I’ve been… well, naive to not rank Matz to this point.  Even with my standing concerns coming into his debut, he likely should’ve been ranked the last few weeks.  I thought it would be at least July until he was up, and I questioned how many innings he’d really get through in the Majors.  His peak is 140.2 IP last year across high-A and double-A, and he entered the Majors at 90.1 innings before yesterday’s debut.  Innings concerns are a big question mark after his career started with major elbow issues (TJ and complications).

And after that debut with 4 RBI at the plate, the mythical legend might be one of the biggest gaps from perception to reality.  Then again, I’m saying all this before breaking down his first start without seeing much of him beyond the numbers.  What Pitcher Profiles are all about!  You can’t know for sure on a guy until you really get a chance to see him pitch.  So without any more noodling, here’s how Matz looked in his debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

Weekly Razzball news delivered straight to your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

It’s funny how drastic and immediate changes can be from the Minors to the Majors.  Thinking back on Trevor May who was profiled a few weeks back – the guy was walking everyone in the Minors and in his short stint in the Majors last year, to become top-25 in K:BB ratio.

But that took some seasoning.  We’re seeing something even drastic-er and immediate-er with what’s going on with the Astros younguns.  Lance McCullers went from being old Trevor May with better Ks to having an 18:0 K:BB stretch before getting a tad wilder these past few…  But he was supposed to struggle through control issues, not Vincent Velasquez!  Vinny V went from a 4.11 K:BB mowing through AA this year to 1.70 so far this year in the show with 17 Ks and 10 BB through his first three starts.

I was pretty high on Velasquez when he was called up, but maybe it was a tad too early for the 23 year old to find immediate success.  So I decided to break down his start yesterday, that should’ve been a cakewalk at the Mariners, to see how he’s looking:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How do you quantify the pure power of you, yes you, the loyal Razzball Nation commenter?

How about with an 82 ranking as if from nowhere!

I’ve actually seen Nate Karns pitch in AAA, and I remember not being too impressed…  Then again I was balls deep in craft beer and a footlong hot dog with BBQ and slaw on it, so there’s that…

I really haven’t seen too much of Karns this year, but what I have seen heading into yesterday’s start is a pretty good fastball with a solid knucke-curve.  Nothing “blow you away”, but enough to keep hitters honest.  And with a garbage-ish pool of pitchers to stream in a couple of leagues where I’m behind in my innings quota, Karns was my stream of choice against a struggling White Sox offense yesterday.  Boy was I happy with the result!  So I decided to go back and watch this start complete with all of the Pitcher Profile bells and whistles to see if there’s something a little deeper here than just a 10 or 12-team matchup streamer:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve used a similar open before, so rounding to the point – there’s a ton of players in baseball…  It’s why fantasy baseball rules the land – there’s no end to how deep it goes (that’s what she said!).  You can play 10 team, 12 team RCL, AL and NL only, and I’m hoping to start up a 30 teamer next year.  The possibilities are endless!

And even within the abyss of players that will contribute to an MLB season, I’m only looking at starting pitchers and even then I miss tons of things!  It’s not like I scan every starter’s game log and peripherals every single week, so guys will occasionally fall through the cracks.  One such example is Trevor May, who I thought was still having egregious control problems.  I looked at his ERA and WHIP in passing on the wire, and gave it an ol’ shrug-a-roosky.  But then I started digging into the numbers after his huge 7-inning two-hitter, and realized he was much more than a butterface.  Kinda like realizing you could hop on board of that!  “It’s not the sweater, but what’s underneath that counts!”  I was then on the verge of picking up May after seeing his 50:9 K:BB in 56.1 innings this year, remembering he was a pretty hot prospect despite walking everyone in his limited time last season.  I watched an early 2014 start and it was something like that uber-fail Tyler Matzek debacle (58 pitches, 20 strikes?!).  So I decided that May would be a perfect pitcher to Profile (and Peter Piper picked peppers!) to see just how dominant his start was last Wednesday at the Red Sox.  I know I usually pick a pitcher who started over the weekend, but I’m selfish and I’m using this week’s post for my own add/drop evaluation needs!  Here’s how May looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Who is Chi Chi Gonzalez?

He’s a pitcher I only really knew because of his incredible name (and seeing it a few times on prospect lists)… I knew almost nothing about this guy.  So instead of doing any research or pounding the Fangraphs, I decided to go into this week’s Pitcher Profile blinded.  I’m going into it like walking into a crowded room, desperately yelling “Chi Chi?!  Chi Chi!??!?!”

And honestly, I wouldn’t have broken down his debut against the Red Sox on Saturday had it not been a no-hit bid into the 6th.  Debut bias alert!  “JB, you got suckered in…”  Darn tootin’!  But I was unable to watch the start live, so even though I figured there was some smoke and mirrors going on, you never really know until you sit down and watch a guy to see how he looked.  So alas, here’s how I saw Chi Chi’s Major League debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Small sample size (that’s what she said!)…  Oh wait, I’m not Grey on the Podcast!

Let’s start over…  Aherm…

Small sample size…  They happen all the time.  Shane Greene is awesome!  F You Shane Greene!  Shane Greene is awesome again!  But usually less bipolar than that.

The funny thing with small samples is the timing.  Sorta like how “impressions are everything” and that hooblah.  Start a year awesome, everyone wants to marry you!  Start the year terrible, and you get cut in the shower and sent to AAA (poor Scooter…).

I will admit the only Mike Bolsinger I had watched before this Pitcher Profile was a start last year for the Dbacks and he didn’t look good.  Impressions are everything!  …I more or less wrote him off even with a decent start to 2015 with the Dodgers.  Then he goes all Corey Kluber and 1-hits the Padres over 8 innings.   So I decided to break down Bolsinger’s fantastic start last Saturday, and see if there’s really something here:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, I was coming into yesterday afternoon all pumped for today’s Profile – high-caliber young gun in Noah Syndergaard going on Sunday, facing my terrible Brewers, it was going to be a monster start…  Andddddd – he plunks my favorite player Carlos Gomez in the face.  F you Noah!  You went from Chris Hemsworth to whoever played the nincompoop in Blue Lagoon.  What a ninny!  And he didn’t even look remorseful, but in retrospect while re-reading my open, he was a little shaken.  Regardless, I only barely like him more than Yordano Ventura now…

Biases be as they be (I think I heard that on some rap mixtape Grey made for me), but I still gutted through an objective-as-possible Pitcher Profile to break down how Syndergaard looked and how much we can expect from him in his rookie season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, what a week of pitching!  Filled with intrigue, romance and murder!  Eh, a little carried away there, although poor Jarrod Parker might indeed have his MLB life cut short.  Get well soon, J-Park!

Then yesterday afternoon Michael Pineda swiss-cheesed the Orioles bats in a near-historic K-fest.  He hasn’t ever had shoulder issues, let him throw 150!  Johan Santana is like, “…not the best idea…”

Also this weekend, we finally got to see Carlos Rodon start a game, his first in his MLB career Saturday night hosting the Reds.  I bet he got all confused facing the Reds since he pitched for NC State and all…  North Carolina bias!  I didn’t see him pitch at all through Spring and only a highlight or two in his bullpen stints, so I was excited to break down his debut and see what he can bring to fantasy owners in 2015.  Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes a news story falls through the cracks, but Lewis Black is there to catch them in a segment we call Back in Black!  Oh wait, got a little carried away there…  I mean:

Sometimes a pitcher falls through the cracks, and Grey is there to catch them!

Now, I have somewhat of an excuse…  Due to the MLB and regional networks wanting to stick it up the rear of their viewers and black out however-the-hell-far their national maps can reach, I can’t watch Orioles or Nationals games live in my region.  It’s so frustrating that I sold high on Adam Jones in my keeper just because I couldn’t see the homers right away!  I’m an instant gratification kinda guy, wink wink.

It’s easy to follow the hitters from these teams and see the highlights, but I never see big samples from either teams’ SP unless it’s on national TV.  Or in this case, in a Pitcher Profile!  Grey has been all about some Miguel Gonzalez on the Podcast, and I guess it’s easy for me to be a little dismissive as he’s never had “huge” numbers and I can’t ever watch him.  Plus, how good could he be anyway, he’s not even the only starting pitcher named Miguel Gonzalez!  Mmmmmm, Alfredo.  But not the Simon kind!  Anyway, since I’ve seen so little of Gonzalez and he had a very under the radar 2.09 ERA in the final 3 months last year and a 2.59 ERA this year with nice Ks, I figured it was a good time to break down his last start hosting the Rays to see how he’s doing pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m popping a cherry of sorts here…  I’m double-dipping in my first ever Pitcher Profile on a hurler already profiled.  But things change!  People change!  Hairstyles change!  I’ll miss you the most, scarecrow!  (bonus points if you know that movie!)

Two years ago, I broke down Chris Archer‘s first career complete game that Summer…  Look at how much we’ve improved!  No weekly rankings, no GIFs, it’s like that was written in the stone age!  At the time, Archer was a young-up-and-comer who even surprised the most die hard of Archer fans, but after going complete twice in a three game span in 2013, really hasn’t shown uber-dominance in any long stretches.  Well, looking back at 2014 he did go on a huge roll starting at the end of May, but never more than say 6 or 7 starts.

After a meh opener, Archer has been a stud the last four, and at age 26 may be finally settling in to an ace-like season.  So I decided to break down his outing yesterday hosting the Blue Jays to see if I think this is a new Archer that is going to maintain dominant numbers all year:

Please, blog, may I have some more?