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Wednesday 18th Oct 2017

We’re halfway through the NFBC Season. If you drafted enough hitting on draft day, your rotation was probably left wanting. Most of us still have some holes to plug. Valuable assets aren’t cheap, but if you overspend, you limit the number of darts you can throw over the course of the season. It’s no secret who the big spenders will be targeting this weekend: the lefty that hails from Citi Field. Will he be worth it?

Early on, the Metropolitans had Steven Matz working on his fastball command. Brandon Phillips saw five straight four-seam fastballs all coming in at 95-96 mph. The last two placed roughly in the same location. The Reds leadoff hitter welcomed the rookie to the show by lining a home run just over the marker in left center field. No surprise given the consistent velocity and location. It was all too easy, but that was the only gift the Reds bats would receive Sunday evening. Effectively wild is an accurate description, though probably misleading if you didn’t see the game. No question the Reds hitters felt uneasy as Matz frequently overthrew, disrupting his release point and consequently missing his target by up to two feet or more. The Red Leg hitters didn’t know if the next fastball would land in their ear or explode on the inside or outside corner of the plate. Normally, this would be a concern, but it became evident that all that the youngster had to do was take about 1 mph off the next fastball to command it over the plate.

Matz features a straight, lively fastball that sits 95-96, an effective curve with inconsistent command that clocks anywhere from 75-80 mph, and an occasional change-up ranging from 84-87. He has the ingredients to effectively disrupt the hitter’s timing. Can he consistently put these ingredients together? His command could be a problem. Time will tell. Todd Frazier’s solo blast came off a pitch Matz failed to command, missing away when Johnny Monell had set up inside, but it isn’t as though Matz gave Frazier a cookie. The youngster was rather emotional, visibly upset after walks and homers, more so than average. It appeared that may have played into his fourth inning walk right after Frazier’s moonshot, though that’s mere conjecture on my part.

The 2009 second-round pick is very quick off the mound, which might not seem like a big factor, but he fields his position well and should be able to limit infield hits near the mound, or take a couple away, as it were. His command improved slightly as the game wore on. By locating his off-speed pitches better, he should be able to induce enough ground balls. However, if such command evades him, hitters will sit on his fastball. At this level, that could make home runs a problem, although this may be mitigated by the wildness of his four-seamer. In summary, I’m giving a buy recommendation with the normal caveats that accompany first-year starters.

Other waiver dregs to consider:

If you have dead roster space, J.J. Hoover and Drew Pomeranz are worth a buck in case Aroldis Chapman or Tyler Clippard get traded. Starters to consider include Cody Anderson, Matt Andriese, Williams Perez and Wade Miley.


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