Brian Matusz’ Year to Date

Brian Matusz is not a fan of the baseball scheduler makers. Or, maybe he is. He’s gotten the call to face the Tampa Bay Rays twice, and his combined line to date is:

12.3 IP, 15 SO, 6 BB, 0 HR

That works out to something like a 2.22 FIP despite facing one of the better offenses in baseball, one that loads their lineup with batters who have made a living hitting left-handed pitching. Matusz’ ERA won’t look quite that good since his bullpen allowed a few leftover runners to score last night. Also worth noting is that five of those walks came in his first start. In that sense, I suppose this has been a continuation of Matusz’ brief 2009 introduction to the majors. He threw in 44 innings, striking out nearly 8 per nine, walking fewer than three, en route to a 4.08 FIP, but with a 4.63 ERA.

The only thing that one can find fault with about Matusz’ game is his batted ball-profile. In his first start, he allowed five fly balls and three liners while failing to get a grounder. Last night, he did get a grounder – four of them actually – but, between both games, allowed 15 fly balls and liners to be put in play as well. Unlike his first start, which he exited after five innings and 97 pitches, Matusz didn’t lose command of the strike zone for the entire stretch.

Obviously, it’s only two starts. But it’s two good starts from a supposedly good prospect against a supposedly good division foe. He’s going to take some knocks eventually. Until then, though, Baltimore fans may continue to gaze upon Matusz with a sense of anticipation and excitement.




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19 Responses to “Brian Matusz’ Year to Date”

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  1. (sic) says:

    I don’t understand the “supposedly good prospect” line. Is there any question as to whether he’s a good, if not great, prospect?

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    • Temo says:

      It’s an ambiguous statement, as it could mean that he’s a prospect that is supposedly good (which would be wrong, he definitely is a good prospect) or that he is a prospect that is a supposedly good player (which would true of many prospects).

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    • philkid3 says:

      I’m sure he means he’s supposed to be a good prospect, but R.J. isn’t going to assume he is when he’s not one of them supposed prospect gurus.

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  2. Sandy Kazmir says:

    Outside of 3 warning track flyouts all of the flyballs that Matusz gave up last night were lazy flyballs that were more like popups. Does the increased likelihood of these turning into outs factor in at all? I know it’s easy to look at the data and see flyballs=bad, but I don’t believe it’s so black-and-white.

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    • Temo says:

      Generally speaking, flyballs are just bad. But, flyballs to the pull field for the hitter are usually very good for the offense while flyballs to the opposite field, except for a few hitters, are very bad for the offense.

      Flyballs to the opposite field are generally the result of mis-timed contact, which intuitively feels like is controllable for pitchers, but I’ve never seen a study on it (though I’ve asked those with access to BIS data to look into it, no one has to my knowledge). And a lot of batted-ball stuff that seems intuitively obvious has been proven false to date.

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    • vivaelpujols says:

      Sample size is too small to make any determination.

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    • Nathaniel Dawson says:

      Yeah, it’s probably about time that people stopped looking at the whole groundball/flyball thing as an indicator of pitcher effectiveness. There’s basically no difference in pitcher ability to prevent runs when looking at batted ball types.

      That is, unless you could find pitchers that could consistently control the number of line drives they allow. Now that would be an indicator you could have some confidence in.

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      • Temo says:

        “There’s basically no difference in pitcher ability to prevent runs when looking at batted ball types.”

        Then you must really not like FIP.

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      • Nathaniel Dawson says:

        Oh, I like FIP just fine. I mean, I don’t think it’s perfect, but it’s certainly one of the best pitching metrics out there.

        But of course, FIP doesn’t use batted ball types — it excludes them purposely to avoid effects by the fielders — so I’m not sure what the reference means.

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      • Temo says:

        It includes HRs, which are obviously batted ball types.

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  3. AnotherFan says:

    Matusz or Romero? Which one would you rather have?

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  4. jrdo410 says:

    Its “Matusz’s Year to Date”

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    • Sandy Kazmir says:

      Well that clears that up, phew.

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    • Temo says:

      This is somewhat of a gray area. Although names ending in s or an s sound are not required to have the second s added in possessive form, it is preferred. Since Matusz pronounces his name “Matus”, it is acceptable to use the form given.

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      • jar75 says:

        I like to add the ‘s to singular possessives ending in s.

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      • Temo says:

        Me too. I don’t force it upon others though.

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      • The Mythical One says:

        While I have seen both of these formats accepted by either APA or MLA:

        Jones’s cookie
        Jones’ cookie

        I have seen no rule at all for a name that sounds like it ends in “s.” Care to show where you found that rule?

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  5. Haze says:

    When Ty Wigginton is your 2nd baseman, ground balls are not your friend.

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  6. kampfer says:

    He is not really an ACE material… Flyball pitcher in AL East with Fenway and Yankee Stadium = death. May need a move to NL to truly shine

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