So Opening Day is less than two weeks away, and Steven Matz has been getting rocked all spring. Now I’ve covered this to death, but Spring Training generally doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. When the Soupmaster General Eric Campbell and Travis Taijeron are leading in every offensive category for your team, it either means your team is the Long Island Ducks or it’s Spring Training. That being said, spring means a little more for some players and a little less for others. Bartolo Colon? Spring is meaningless. He’s a seasoned veteran. He pitched like crap last spring and won 8 games between April and May. Jacob deGrom? It means a little more than nothing, but he’s already put together two full major league seasons. He’s been through the 162 game grind twice. He knows how to efficiently prepare for a full season.
Rookie Steven Matz? It actually means something. Let’s be real, if Matz hadn’t debuted in the fashion he did last season, and he came into 2016 camp battling for a spot in this rotation, his 8.31 ERA would have had him reassigned to the minor leagues over a week ago. I believe that he will get things going. I trust that it’s rust. But I’m guilty of getting overexcited and ramping up my expectations for this dude to the highest level. I’m just imagining Rookie of the Year ceremonies, Cy Young awards, and pretending he’s Clayton Kershaw. He’s got a lot to prove. Heck he’s got everything to prove. All we’ve seen so far is Steven Matz has amazing stuff and has made some real solid pressure filled playoff starts to kick off his career. Now he needs to put it all together over a full season. He needs to show he can stay healthy. He needs to show he can execute pitches consistently at the major league level. I’m sure Steven will get himself together and start off on the right foot. All I’m saying is, he’s a rookie so growing pains are inevitable and should be expected. And if all else fails he can go back to his promising career as a Joe DiMaggio impersonator living on Long Island with his parents. Who knows, maybe he’ll score the lead role in The Sandlot 4: DiMaggio’s Return. Perhaps he’ll spurn children’s films for the adult genre. He could be Joe DiMaggio in a late night Cinemax movie called 69: The Forgotten Streak. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He’ll focus on baseball first, and then he can work on the DiMaggio related endorsements.