Looking to continue their climb back into the playoff picture after an abysmal start to the season, the St. Louis Cardinals need to move pitcher Steven Matz out of the rotation and into the bullpen.
In the second year of a 4 year, $44M contract Matz has made 20 starts as a Cardinals with a record of 5-9 with a 5.49 ERA while allowing 16 home runs over 98 1/3 innings pitched.
Far from what the Cardinals could have expected when they made the signing, and with a few prospects ready to contribute at the big league level the move should be made now.
Matz likely has little, if any trade value thanks to his poor production and the salary that comes along with him. Unless a solid prospect is attached to the deal, which would be counter-productive at this point Matz is here to stay.
With the Cardinals also looking for help in the bullpen, Matz is still valuable against left-handed batters. Allowing lefties to a minuscule slash line of .189/.268/.297 all may not be lost on Matz’s ability to contribute to the team.
Currently, five games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers the Cardinals can’t afford to let Matz figure it out on the mound when every game is crucial.
With top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore getting a second start versus the Cleveland Guardians Friday evening, this could be the precursor to moving Matz to the bullpen if Liberatore has another successful start.
With pitching prospects Gordon Graceffo and Michael McGreevy both in Triple-A, they are also on the verge of making their MLB debut in 2023 if needed.