Based on ZiPS projections, Phil Maton is expected to finish 2021 with the following stats:
3.68 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 63.7 IP, 11.17 K/9, 2.97 BB/9, 1.13 HR/9, 0.9 fWAR
Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Let’s Go Tribe Discord.
Matt Schlichting’s Prediction: OVER
We have a tendency to refer to him as “Phil Mato” in the writer’s room. It originated as an unfortunate typo but morphed into a term of endearment.
Maton battles hitters with his four-seam fastball and cutter. When necessary, he works in a curveball, and he even threw six sinkers for fun last year. Here is a map of his pitch distribution from 2020, courtesy of Baseball Savant
Up with the fastball, down with the curveball, in on the hands or breaking away depending on handedness with the cutter. Making things even more deceptive, these all operate within a distinct range of velocities. His average fastball is 93.5 mph. His average cutter is 85.4 mph and is probably only called a cutter instead of a slider due to its preposterous 10.3 inches of horizontal break. His curveball sits at 76.7 mph.
Keep in mind that none of those cutters for balls are “misses”. That’s exactly where you want a pitch with 218% more horizontal movement than league average, per Statcast.
So it looks like an effective arsenal for a relief pitcher to deploy. How have hitters fared based on their quality of contact?
What I intend to point out is that Phil Maton is an exceptionally talented reliever who will probably be the fourth or fifth guy out of the bullpen for Cleveland this season.
If someone this sneaky and deceptive is going to come out when things get hairy in the sixth and seventh innings, I can’t imagine Cleveland ends this season with anything other than the best bullpen in baseball.
Will Phil Maton finish 2021 with an fWAR over or under 0.9?
This poll is closed