PORT ST. LUCIE – The analytical numbers are getting cheaper for Steven Matz under the new Mets pitching trainer Jeremy Hefner.
"It was really good, I think he is really good at giving us some analysis and translating it so that we can actually take action," said the left-hander on Saturday in the team's pre-camp. Matz could find himself fighting for a rotation point after the additions of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.
"Some of these things, new as they are, are difficult to translate into" OK, how do I do that on the hill? "And I think that's something he's really good at," said Matz after a long pause. throw session and a conversation with Hefner.
Matz hadn't felt comfortable with analytics in the past.
"I think I hesitated just because you see all these numbers," said Matz. "You don't want to change anything because you know what brought you here and suddenly this new stuff comes and you say, 'Wait a minute, I don't want to start changing everything now. & # 39; think that's the big thing. The numbers can show that small adjustments can help a lot. "
Matz and Hefner worked by hand on their parking spaces. Matz knew Hefner when the coach set up for the Mets.
"We talked today about how my pitches overlap and which pitch depends on another pitch, how they come out of my hand and what they look like," said Matz.
The key to clearing the pitch is to be on the ball instead of standing on the side.
"Sometimes it's hard to feel in real time," said Matz, "but when you see it on slow motion cameras, you say OK. When you look back and see what you can feel, everything makes sense."
The 28-year-old Matz was overall 4.21 ERA 11-10 in 2019. He was at home with 2.31 ERA 8-2. He was on the way with 6.62 ERA 3-8. Matz has to bring the comfort he finds at home to the streets. Strike coach Chili Davis said Matz, a great athlete, was the best pitcher on the team, and if Matz made positive adjustments under Hefner, it would make a big difference.
Last month Matz won the NY BBWAA's Joan Payson / Shannon Forde "Community Service" award for his charity TRU32, which supports first aid workers.
"That means a lot to me," said Matz.
In 2013 Matz was led by the new Mets manager Luis Rojas at Single-A Savannah.
"I have a really good relationship with him, we won the South Atlantic League championship," said Matz. "I learned a lot from him. He is very open-minded and can communicate well. "