When it comes to Steven Matz, two things are clear: he has a history of injuries and he is a talented pitcher.
The 25-year-old had Tommy John Surgery in 2010; a year after he was drafted by the Mets. During his first season with the big-league club in 2015 he was placed on the disabled list for a partially torn left lat muscle, dealt with a blister, and was sidelined with back spasms and back discomfort. A year later he had a shoulder impingement, was placed on the disabled list for left shoulder tightness, and was treated for bone spurs.
Even with all those injuries he has managed to pitch well in his 28 career starts. He has gone 13-8 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.214 WHIP, and 163 strikeouts in 168 innings pitched. This past May 25, Matz won his seventh game in row and stood among elite company at 7-1 with a 2.36 ERA. He has definitely shown some signs of brilliance at the major league level.
If Matz stays healthy in 2017, the sky could be the limit for the southpaw. Staying healthy is his goal and he has taken a different approach as of late.
“I try to take all aspects of it, nutrition, strength conditioning and the baseball work,’’ Matz told reporters at Tradition Field on Wednesday. “I don’t think there is one thing that has caused me to get hurt the past couple of years, it’s just the way it is, but I think I can learn some things from last year.”
Matz is eating healthy, receiving massage therapy, and taking anti-inflammatories every once in a while.
Jacob deGrom joined his friend Matz in Port St. Lucie and both pitchers took advantage of the Mets TrackMan system. This system is analytical software which tracks a pitcher’s delivery.
For Matz, taking one day at a time is key.
“I don’t try to put any numbers on it,” Matz also said to reporters Wednesday. “I realize it’s most beneficial if I focus on what you’re doing today, then with that mindset, just go out and do what you got to do. All the preparation you did to get there should take care of itself.”
Mets fans can only hope that 2017 is Matz’ healthiest year to date. If so, it may be something special.