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Former Mets pitcher Steven Matz is apparently well aware of his struggles last year and is now looking to remedy his career with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was traded to Toronto back in January for what some would call “spare pieces.”
Life really hit him fast.
Steven Matz reflects on his career with the Mets:— SNY (@SNYtv) February 19, 2021
“I’m extremely thankful to the Mets organization for giving me the opportunity, but now all that is behind me” pic.twitter.com/VWHQHNivhj
Matz spoke with Sportsnet 590 The FAN’s Baseball Central show to discuss his rebound season:
“Well last year I just got away from some of the things I normally do well,” he said. “I’m not really sure to put my finger in one thing, but my velocity started going up a little bit and my miles were really big. Command is a big deal,” he added.
“I just got a little erratic last year and it definitely hurt me.”
Matz was then asked about his relationship with Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker, who will be his partner towards a rebuilding year.
“I came into camp feeling good, feeling healthy,” he said. “Being able able to work with Pete a little bit, and some of the things I have been able to implement with him, I just feel really confident and am excited to get the season going.
So far, Steven Matz is 2-0 this spring with a 1.76 ERA and an opponent’s BA of .241 in 15.1 innings pitched.
Why there’s hope
Performing in New York is clearly more difficult than anywhere else. You first have to play up to your own standards, and then if you don’t, you have to explain to the masses why you’re not. It’s a minefield that sometimes gets the best of an athlete (especially in a shortened COVID season).
And as far as “feeling good” goes, who doesn’t feel good during spring training? Even athletes who stopped playing in their youth remember that players always feel good right before the season starts. Our best season is always going to be the upcoming year. Duh.
✅ Home run— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 19, 2018
✅ Five scoreless innings
✅ No-look grab for the double play
Steven Matz is having a ridiculous night.pic.twitter.com/mnEAfgi06y
But I think he sorta mentioned what the problem was by using the word “confidence.” When you get to play for franchises that aren’t under the spotlight ALL THE TIME — it helps build confidence. With the Blue Jays, Matz will actually have time for a bad start or two before fans start to chirp, and that should help him get back on track. If he can return to his strengths, look for him on the waiver wire as a potential pick up midseason.
It’s been awhile, though, so don’t necessarily count on it.