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  • #31
    Originally posted by mingjungtc View Post
    Michael Matuella 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
    This is great to see! I really hope Matuella shows why he would have been a possible number 1 pick. Should be ready for the 2019 rotation at some point if he stays healthy!
    Buy a shirt and help support my wife and I as we adopt our daughter Lily Grace! www.adoptionbug.com/lilygrace/

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    • #32
      Originally posted by kennyt12 View Post

      This is great to see! I really hope Matuella shows why he would have been a possible number 1 pick. Should be ready for the 2019 rotation at some point if he stays healthy!
      It is great to see, we need TORP prospects (who doesn't?). The most encouraging about Matuella IMO is that he isn't an older guy fooling younger players with offspeed stuff, he has been told to throw his fastball and basically nothing else. The hitters know whats coming and he is still putting up that stat line.

      Let him get completely healthy and start throwing three plus pitches, at that point he could come very quickly.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Kaisersoze View Post

        It is great to see, we need TORP prospects (who doesn't?). The most encouraging about Matuella IMO is that he isn't an older guy fooling younger players with offspeed stuff, he has been told to throw his fastball and basically nothing else. The hitters know whats coming and he is still putting up that stat line.

        Let him get completely healthy and start throwing three plus pitches, at that point he could come very quickly.
        If he's ready by midseason 2019 I'd be ecstatic!
        Buy a shirt and help support my wife and I as we adopt our daughter Lily Grace! www.adoptionbug.com/lilygrace/

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        • #34
          On paper, Friday nights matchup between Hickorys Michael Matuella and Ashevilles Riley Pint was was one of the more intriguing the minor leagues had to offer.

          And on Friday, each righthander showed hints of why his club values him so highly.


          For Matuella, success has been partially defined by simply being on the mound at all.

          His stuff at Duke pointed to a first-round pedigree, but a lengthy injury history that includes a battle with a back condition called spondylolysis as well as Tommy John surgery gave teams pause and he fell to the third round, where the Rangers pounced on him as a high-risk, high-reward pick.

          The injury issues continued as a pro, and he pitched just three innings during the 2016 season after being shut down with right elbow soreness. Hes fully healthy now, though, and like Pint is showing flashes of why he had scouts flocking to each of his starts in Durham, N.C.

          Its good to be back pitching. Obviously tonight didnt go quite the way I wanted it to, but Im making progress and my arm feels great, he said. Thats obviously first and foremost. Im still getting the reps in and trying to make improvements from outing to outing.

          Matuella struggled a bit with fastball command on Friday and lasted just 3.1 innings before hitting his pitch limit. His best inning was the first, when he showed a 92-94 mph fastball with hard cutting life as well.

          He struck out two around a home run and got swings and misses on three consecutive pitches at one point in the frame. He also showed a changeup and curveball, though neither pitch appeared at its best.

          Now that hes back and taking the ball every fifth day, its time to kick off some of the accumulated rust. The first step is re-harnessing his fastball.

          A big thing with the Rangers this year is fastball command, he said. Really establishing the fastball and trying to get it down in the zone or up in the zone when I need it, in and out, and being able to really set the tone with the fastball so the other pitches can play off of that when I need it.

          To achieve that goal, the Rangers raised where Matuella sets his hands to begin his delivery. Instead of starting lower and lifting his hands as he starts his motion, he begins with hands set high. That cuts a step out of his delivery and gets him in a good position from the get-go.

          Its something I worked a lot with in the offseason and basically just repped it out in my throwing program, he said. It was a pretty quick transition.

          Rehabbing from injuries obviously limits what a player can do on the ballfield, so he has to find other ways to better himself. Matuella spent part of his time studying pitchers in the playoffs and trying to gain a better appreciation for what makes them elite.

          In particular, he was taken by the way Indians ace Corey Kluber performed during the World Series.

          He was really dominant. Just seeing what he was able to do with his two-seam fastball (was impressive), Matuella said. I dont think the average baseball fan can really appreciate how he was locating that two-seam fastball to his glove side, freezing lefthanded hitters all the time and freezing righthanded hitters too. That pitch moves a lot. So I think seeing how he located his fastball was really cool, when obviously Im trying to get to that point.

          The road to Kluber-like dominance might be a long way down the road, but for Matuella being healthy enough to take the ball every fifth day is good first step in the right direction.

          http://www.baseballamerica.com/minor...ess/?amphtml=1

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