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  • Michael Matuella

    Evan Grant ‏@Evan_P_Gran
    Michael Matuella returns to the mound (With a snippet of video):

    Right-hander Michael Matuella, the first-round talent who fell to the Rangers in the third round of the 2015 draft because of elbow problems, returned to the mound Tuesday for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

    Matuella, 21, had surgery last April 10 while at Duke and missed the majority of the 2015 college season.

    Matuella had been ranked as the 23rd best prospect in the draft before the injury. had ranked him 19th.

  • #2
    Hope he can stay healthy.


    • #3
      Right-hander Michael Matuella, taken with the 78th overall pick in last year's draft out of Duke, is advancing toward a professional debut at the rookie-league level this summer.

      Matuella began throwing off a mound in April. He has not yet appeared in an extended spring-training game.

      Matuella rose to prominence during a sophomore year at Duke in which he was mentioned as a possible No. 1 overall pick candidate for the 2015 draft. The 6-foot-7 righty sat out the summer and fall seasons prior to his junior year to rest a chronic back condition known as spondylosis. His final college season was marred by injury when he began experiencing forearm tightness, and he had UCL surgery in April.

      Matuella fell further in the draft than expected because of the combination of elbow surgery and the previous back issue. The Rangers selected him in the third round and signed him for an over-slot $2 million. He insists his back condition is no longer an issue.

      “My back feels great,” Matuella said. “It’s something that I’ll always have to maintain with the core strength . . . I do a number of different core exercises. I just keep varying it from day to day just to mix it up and make sure the back issue never comes up again.”

      Rehab work starts early for pitchers. They usually arrive by 7:00 a.m. and often work well into the afternoon. The days are filled with stretching, exercising, throwing, running, lifting weights, arm and shoulder work, and then finally watching the extended-spring games, followed by more rehab work. Then they’re back the next day for more of the same.

      Matuella takes a measured approach to his rehab process, saying, “I’ve been very patient. I’m just really controlling what I can control and not really trying to worry about pushing too fast because I know the Rangers have a good plan for me.”

      But the perpetually upbeat Matuella looks for ways to vary the routine enough to help him get through each day.

      “Each week brings a new challenge,” he said, “whether it’s another set of throws or more throws, whether it’s getting off a flat mound . . . each week it’s a new test.”

      Matuella has bonded with his fellow Rangers rehabbers, notably righties Ricardo Rodriguez and Dario Beltre.

      “We’ve definitely become a friendly group,” Matuella said. “We’re a close group. It’s kind of a fraternity . . . Anyone who’s gone through Tommy John knows how tough it is and the work that goes into coming back.”

      Winning The Mental Game

      The rehabilitation process isn’t all physical. The Indians and Rangers dedicate time and resources to working with their players on mental skills to help them get through rehab.

      Matuella said that the Rangers have watched video of him pitching in college but are primarily making sure his arm is healthy before making any adjustments. He’s just focused on regaining his health but has a few tweaks in mind that he will implement at the right time.

      “I’ve talked to (Rangers staff) about adjusting based on what I’ve noticed about my motion and something that might have caused the injury,” Matuella said. “So I feel like they’ve done a really good job helping me adjust those things. That’s only going to keep me healthy, keep me on the right track and keep me better than before surgery. There’s a reason I got hurt.”

      “I wish that I never had Tommy John surgery, but I do believe it happened for a reason,” Matuella said. “Looking back at some of the things I used to do, motion-wise, I think it was bound to happen.

      “It’s unfortunate, the timing of it, but it definitely teaches patience and, really, just keeping a consistent attitude, because you’re going to have your ups and downs—in life and in baseball. Tommy John surgery and the recovery is just a microcosm of that.” cjh.97


      • #4
        TR Sullivan ‏@Sullivan_Ranger
        Mike Matuella is expected to be Opening Day starter for Class A Spokane June 17. Will be 14 months removed from Tommy John and doing great

        Thirteen months after Tommy John surgery, former Duke ace Michael Matuella threw live batting practice Monday at the Rangers’ extended spring training complex in Arizona.

        BA’s Bill Mitchell was on hand and reports that Matuella touched 94-95 mph with his fastball and also used his curveball and changeup.

        Matuella entered the 2015 season as the top draft-eligible college pitcher and a projected top-five pick despite a back condition called spondylosis.


        • #5
          Can't wait...definitely excited


          • #6
            Bill Mitchell ‏@billazbbphotog
            Special day in Goodyear for last day of instructs - Mike Matuella & Tyler Ferguson pitching for Rangers, R. Iglesias & M. Lorenzen for Reds.

            Bill Mitchell ‏@billazbbphotog
            Michael Matuella goes 2 scoreless in 1st game after TJ. 3K, 1H, 0BB. FB 93-96. Also used curveball & changeup.


            • #7
              Rangers RHP Michael Matuella entered his junior year at Duke as a candidate for the first overall selection in the 2015 draft. A torn UCL in March of that year dashed those hopes and Matuella eventually fell all the way to the Rangers at 78th overall. He signed for a $2 million and had been rehabbing in Arizona until Wednesday, when he faced opposing hitters for the first time in an Extended Spring Training game against the Reds.

              Matuella threw his fastball at 93-96 mph after having also sat in that range during live batting practice for me last week. He threw a few curveballs in the low 80s — all below average — and his arm action lacked conviction. This was an issue for Matuella when I saw him throw that live BP session last week, as well, and coaches both then and today were urging him to “pull down” to create more downward spin on the breaking ball. During live BP, Matuella made the adjustment and his curveball was subsequently more effective. Wednesday, in just two innings of work — the first of which was fastball-only — he didn’t really have the opportunity to make the same sort of adjustment. I think that, with a combination of additional reps and greater confidence in the health of his arm, Matuella’s curve will develop into an above average — and potentially plus — pitch.

              The right-hander also threw one changeup today, at 85 mph, which featured noticeable arm deceleration. Again, because Matuella is just getting his feet wet, this isn’t anything about which to be overly concerned, and is instead just something to monitor as he continues to get loose.

              He’s expected to remain in Arizona for Arizona League action, which begins June 20th. Extended Spring Training concluded today.



              • #8
                Michael Matuella ‏@mikematch30
                All set and ready for my first professional season to start up!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mingjungtc View Post
                  Michael Matuella ‏@mikematch30
                  All set and ready for my first professional season to start up!

                  glad spokane gets this guy. should be fun to watch


                  • #10
                    3 ip, 1 h, 0 r, 2 bb, 1 k.


                    • #11
                      Evan Closky @KREMEvan
                      Matuella has some realllly good stuff. Fastball sitting 95-97...not bad for a dude coming off TJ. Definitely worth a watch Spokane.


                      • #12
                        Michael Matuella @mikematch30
                        Ah yes, some minor algebra...


                        • #13
                          Michael Matuella @mikematch30 Oct 16
                          When you're having trouble containing your excitement because you start throwing again tomorrow...


                          • #14

                            Michael Matuella @mikematch30
                            Decided to start Breaking Bad. Off to a very strong start


                            • #15
                              Bill Mitchell @billazbbphotog
                              Liked my 1st look at #Rangers wiry LHP Reiver Sanmartin. Loose delivery, really attacked hitters w/ 87-91 mph FB.

                              Bill Mitchell @billazbbphotog
                              Positive outing today in extended spring for Michael Matuella. FB 93-97, CH 87-90, CB 78 not yet using much. Clean delivery. #Rangers

                              Reiver Sanmartin
                              2015 July 2 signing
                              2016: DSL: 7W-1L ERA 2.36, 6BB/56SO
                              2017 Colombia World Baseball Classic Team