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Matt Andriese’s Impressive Start To The 2017 Season

Matt Andriese Kieth Allison - Via - Flickr


Matt Andriese’s Hot Start To 2017

When taking a look at the Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation, nobody has had as well of a start than Matt Andriese. The 27 year old right hander has certainly been a pleasant surprise for the Rays this season. Andriese was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft by the San Diego Padres, but he made his major league debut with the Rays back in 2015.

So far Andriese has started off the season with an impressive 4-1 record with a 3.75 ERA over 50.1 innings pitched. Adding to those stats is an impressive 47 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.31. Although his pitch count can sometimes be an issue in the 5th and 6th innings, it has not stopped him from keeping the club in ball games. So far out of his 9 outings he has allowed two runs or fewer in 5 of his starts.

What Has Improved?

The most impressive part for Andriese is the added strike out totals. His 47 strikeouts can be accredited to his improved control of his secondary pitches this season. Andriese’s low to mid 90s fastball and 81-82 MPH curve has been a good setup for his strikeout pitch, the cutter (87-88 MPH). The improved command of his cutter contributes to his dominance this season.

Despite his last outing against the Yankees, in which he gave up 5 runs through 5 innings pitched. He still showed good stuff, striking out 5. It’s important to note that Matt was ejected from the game after plunking Arron Judge in the 6th.

His improved control on secondary pitches and getting ahead in counts has helped Andriese enormously. Although there is still lots of time in the season, his start this year is quite the improvement from last years 8-8 season.

What Still Need Improving?

Matt Andriese’s walk total has been an issue so far this season. In 50.1 innings pitched, he has walked 19 batters. That is only 6 less than last season, in which he pitched 127.2 innings. He seems to have more control with his slider and change late in the count, but is still losing batters. Andriese needs to work more on commanding his fastball early in the count. That will help him get ahead in the count and allow him to throw his curve or cutter.

The Future

The Rays currently sit at .500 and 4.5 games out of first place. They are not out of the race by any means, but the AL east is no push over. The Yankees and Orioles sit atop the division and the Red Sox are starting to heat up. So, 2017 is not likely going to be a playoff year for Tampa.

The Rays may end up clearing stock at the trade deadline in order to boost the farm system. Andriese would be an excellent candidate, provided he keeps up the strong start to the season. With teams like the Rockies, Astros and possibly the Cubs needing to improve their starting pitching, the Rays could fetch some solid prospects in return for Andriese.