Multiple sources are reporting that the New York Mets will likely promote pitching prospect Steven Matz to the major league roster on Friday. A strong rumor to that effect was originally reported by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal this afternoon, followed this evening by a report from ESPN's Adam Rubin. Indications are that the Mets may be going with a six-man starting rotation.
With Noah Syndergaard in the majors for the last few weeks, Matz was New York's top pitching prospect at the minor league level. Drafted in the second round in 2009 from high school in East Setauket, New Jersey, Matz missed two complete seasons and part of a third following a Tommy John procedure in 2010 which did not heal as quickly as normal. He didn't take the mound full-time until 2013 but has been very successful since then, posting a 2.28 ERA in 366 minor league innings with a 380/121 K/BB and just 303 hits allowed.
This includes an outstanding 2.19 ERA in 90 innings for Triple-A Las Vegas this spring, with a 94/31 K/BB and 69 hits allowed, excellent performance in any environment but especially so for Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League.
Matz features a lively low-to-mid-90s fastball and a change-up which varies between solid and excellent. His curveball has developed nicely and when everything is right he throws strikes with three above-average pitches. His command can be inconsistent but minor league hitters were unable to take advantage of this.
He has nothing left to prove in the minors and projects as a strong number three, or perhaps even a number two, starter at the big league level.