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Arrieta vs Matusz


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There are many people on here that believe Arrieta has a higher upside than Matusz and one of the things people point to is that Arrieta has better stuff.

My question is this...Do people understand the difference between stuff and velocity?

Arrieta clearly has better velocity than Matusz and his fastball will generally have better movement...I get that..We can all agree with that. But I don't see how anyone can look at their secondary pitches and say that Arrieta's are better. Yes, he has a good curve from time to time but its not nearly as consistent as Matusz's CB.

Part of stuff is having the ability to command it and Matusz, whose command isn't as good as it will be, is still light years ahead of Arrieta at this point.

People have talked about Arrieta's mound presence, poise, etc....Well, Matusz has the same thing going for him. Both of them want to go after the top teams in the division. Both of them want the ball.

So, to me, it seems like it comes back to one thing...People like Arrieta more because he throws harder...but yet they seem to forget the fact that Matusz commands the ball better, misses more bats and K's more hitters. So, throwing harder isn't resulting in anything but ooooo's and ahhhh's from those looking at the radar gun.

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There are many people on here that believe Arrieta has a higher upside than Matusz and one of the things people point to is that Arrieta has better stuff.

My question is this...Do people understand the difference between stuff and velocity?

Arrieta clearly has better velocity than Matusz and his fastball will generally have better movement...I get that..We can all agree with that. But I don't see how anyone can look at their secondary pitches and say that Arrieta's are better. Yes, he has a good curve from time to time but its not nearly as consistent as Matusz's CB.

Part of stuff is having the ability to command it and Matusz, whose command isn't as good as it will be, is still light years ahead of Arrieta at this point.

People have talked about Arrieta's mound presence, poise, etc....Well, Matusz has the same thing going for him. Both of them want to go after the top teams in the division. Both of them want the ball.

So, to me, it seems like it comes back to one thing...People like Arrieta more because he throws harder...but yet they seem to forget the fact that Matusz commands the ball better, misses more bats and K's more hitters. So, throwing harder isn't resulting in anything but ooooo's and ahhhh's from those looking at the radar gun.

It is more than that. I could be wrong as I haven't looked it up but from watching the games I believe that Matusz is more prone to giving up back breaking homers than Arrieta. I also think that Arrieta is more athletic and stronger with much more physical stamina than Matusz who appears soft to me. (Hunter I believe was commenting last night on how impressed Kranitz was with the athleticism of Arrieta).

From watching them both I believe Arrieta has one thing going for him that Matusz doesn't (besides velocity) and that is even when he doesn't have his best command he can still get hitters out and keep his team in the game (although last nite he didn't) whereas Matusz when his command is off generally gets hammered and I mean pounded! I haven't seen that happen to Arrieta nearly as often.

So I believe your general take or assumption that people like Arrieta better simply because he throws harder is not correct. At least in my case it isn't.

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I think both Arrieta's curve and slider, at their best, are a tick better than Matusz' at his best. I don't think he throws them well nearly as often as Matusz does though. If he can gain consistency, then I'd say he's got the better stuff, but Matusz is more consistent at this point, and as such overall has better stuff. Arrieta's fastball is definitely better, though, in terms of velocity and movement. Again, Matusz has better control with the fastball than Arrieta. Neither have great command of the fastball at this point.

I understand the argument that Arrieta has higher upside. I just don't think he's nearly as likely of reaching that peak as Matusz has of reaching his.

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I think Matusz has the brighter future at this point, but if Arrieta can learn to use and command his changeup effectively against lefties, he could be just as good, if not better than Matusz. Still...in the long run, I'd say Matusz ends up being the better pitcher.

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There are many people on here that believe Arrieta has a higher upside than Matusz and one of the things people point to is that Arrieta has better stuff.

My question is this...Do people understand the difference between stuff and velocity?

Arrieta clearly has better velocity than Matusz and his fastball will generally have better movement...I get that..We can all agree with that. But I don't see how anyone can look at their secondary pitches and say that Arrieta's are better. Yes, he has a good curve from time to time but its not nearly as consistent as Matusz's CB.

Part of stuff is having the ability to command it and Matusz, whose command isn't as good as it will be, is still light years ahead of Arrieta at this point.

People have talked about Arrieta's mound presence, poise, etc....Well, Matusz has the same thing going for him. Both of them want to go after the top teams in the division. Both of them want the ball.

So, to me, it seems like it comes back to one thing...People like Arrieta more because he throws harder...but yet they seem to forget the fact that Matusz commands the ball better, misses more bats and K's more hitters. So, throwing harder isn't resulting in anything but ooooo's and ahhhh's from those looking at the radar gun.

SG, stuff and velocity aren't necessarily the same thing, but you have to take it into account as one of the main factors in determining 'stuff'. Arrieta's fastball sits 3-5 MPH above Matusz, which is a difference of roughly 15 on the 20-80 scale when accounting for handedness. Arrieta's FB also has a lot more run and sink compared to Matusz's relatively straight fastball. Arrieta features a sharper curveball, whereas Matusz has a more looping CB. Matusz clearly has a better CH, but that's the only pitch you can really grade as plus/plus. Command isn't really a factor when talking strictly about stuff. Matusz is obviously the more polished pitcher, and therefore is more likely to achieve his ceiling, but I really don't think you can say Matusz has better 'stuff' than Arrieta.

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All I know is it is pretty difficult to be a successful starter with a k-bb ratio under 1. Arrieta needs to start missing more bats and walking less dudes or he isn't going to be much.
Yeah, obviously nobody thinks he's going to continue doing that. Or more accurately, nobody thinks he can continue doing that and last as a starter.

I don't think he's ever going to be a 2-3 BB/9 inning guy, but I do think he can be a 3.5-4 BB/9 guy, and if he's striking out 7.5-8 per 9 or so, he can be a successful #3 type starter with his groundball tendencies. If either the strikeouts go up or the walks go down from there (or both) then he can have significantly more success.

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There are many people on here that believe Arrieta has a higher upside than Matusz and one of the things people point to is that Arrieta has better stuff.

My question is this...Do people understand the difference between stuff and velocity?

Arrieta clearly has better velocity than Matusz and his fastball will generally have better movement...I get that..We can all agree with that. But I don't see how anyone can look at their secondary pitches and say that Arrieta's are better. Yes, he has a good curve from time to time but its not nearly as consistent as Matusz's CB.

Part of stuff is having the ability to command it and Matusz, whose command isn't as good as it will be, is still light years ahead of Arrieta at this point.

People have talked about Arrieta's mound presence, poise, etc....Well, Matusz has the same thing going for him. Both of them want to go after the top teams in the division. Both of them want the ball.

So, to me, it seems like it comes back to one thing...People like Arrieta more because he throws harder...but yet they seem to forget the fact that Matusz commands the ball better, misses more bats and K's more hitters. So, throwing harder isn't resulting in anything but ooooo's and ahhhh's from those looking at the radar gun.

Arrieta's command is the issue, not the stuff. His fastball and slider are better pitches than Matusz's, but the command of those pitches are nowhere close to consistent. Matusz has a much better curveball and change. Unfortunately, they never really have and it's the main reason it's held him back a bit. Then you add in a poor changeup that's also very inconsistent and a curveball that's a below average offering most of the time and you have what you have in Jake, a guy with some promise who hasn't put things together.

Now can he? Sure, but the chances are he's not going to do it enough to become a top of the rotation guy and even if he does, his curveball and change ups need a lot of work. This is why I think his ultimate role will be as a closer. He'll throw harder (I think he could be a 97-98 MPH guy with a high 80's slider in one inning stints) and his lack of command might not be as big a problem.

Matusz has a track record of having much better command and we've seen when his command is on he can be as tough as anyone.

As I've said all along, it's Matusz over Arrieta and it's not even close in my book.

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SG, stuff and velocity aren't necessarily the same thing, but you have to take it into account as one of the main factors in determining 'stuff'. Arrieta's fastball sits 3-5 MPH above Matusz, which is a difference of roughly 15 on the 20-80 scale when accounting for handedness. Arrieta's FB also has a lot more run and sink compared to Matusz's relatively straight fastball. Arrieta features a sharper curveball, whereas Matusz has a more looping CB. Matusz clearly has a better CH, but that's the only pitch you can really grade as plus/plus. Command isn't really a factor when talking strictly about stuff. Matusz is obviously the more polished pitcher, and therefore is more likely to achieve his ceiling, but I really don't think you can say Matusz has better 'stuff' than Arrieta.

I think you are referring to his slider that has a lot of downward bite. His curveball is actually a mid 70's (75-77MPH) offering and it's usually not very good and out of the strikezone.

I completely agree with you on the fastball. Arrieta's fastball is certainly faster and more lively than Matusz's. Unfortunately though command remains the issue.

I guess pure stuff (take away command) I'd probably give Arrieta the edge, but overall it's Matusz.

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I think you are referring to his slider that has a lot of downward bite. His curveball is actually a mid 70's (75-77MPH) offering and it's usually not very good and out of the strikezone.
I may just be letting last night's start have too much emphasis in my mind, but despite the poor outing overall, he really threw a few hammers that looked as good or better than anything I've seen Matusz throw.

I agree completely that he doesn't throw anything for strikes or in good spots nearly as often as Matusz can, and that's why despite likely having better true stuff than Matusz, Arrieta he isn't as likely to be as effective as a starter overall.

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It is more than that. I could be wrong as I haven't looked it up but from watching the games I believe that Matusz is more prone to giving up back breaking homers than Arrieta. I also think that Arrieta is more athletic and stronger with much more physical stamina than Matusz who appears soft to me. (Hunter I believe was commenting last night on how impressed Kranitz was with the athleticism of Arrieta).

From watching them both I believe Arrieta has one thing going for him that Matusz doesn't (besides velocity) and that is even when he doesn't have his best command he can still get hitters out and keep his team in the game (although last nite he didn't) whereas Matusz when his command is off generally gets hammered and I mean pounded! I haven't seen that happen to Arrieta nearly as often.

So I believe your general take or assumption that people like Arrieta better simply because he throws harder is not correct. At least in my case it isn't.

Athleticism by a pitcher really only means so much. They both appear to be able to field their position.

I do agree that Matusz likely needs to condition himself a little more but there is no reason to think he won't...I am pretty sure he was at the athletes performance training center this past offseason, so the guy is willing to work. Now, he has to work on other things.

OTOH, that is also a reason to like him more because even without those things, he has been the much better pitcher than Arrieta...Arrieta is likely at his physical peak, whereas Matusz has room to grow.

Also, Matusz has had plenty of starts where he doesn;t have his best stuff and fights through it and gives us a good start..that is just your jaded opinion of him coming through.

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I may just be letting last night's start have too much emphasis in my mind, but despite the poor outing overall, he really threw a few hammers that looked as good or better than anything I've seen Matusz throw.

I agree completely that he doesn't throw anything for strikes or in good spots nearly as often as Matusz can, and that's why despite likely having better true stuff than Matusz, Arrieta he isn't as likely to be as effective as a starter overall.

Key words there...Who cares if he can throw a few a game? Matusz has the makings of a Bedard type curve, where as Arrieta has that big 12-6 type curve. Both are good pitches but Arrieta struggles to throw his for strikes and hitters lay off of it more...Similar to Tillman.
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I think you are referring to his slider that has a lot of downward bite. His curveball is actually a mid 70's (75-77MPH) offering and it's usually not very good and out of the strikezone.

I completely agree with you on the fastball. Arrieta's fastball is certainly faster and more lively than Matusz's. Unfortunately though command remains the issue.

I guess pure stuff (take away command) I'd probably give Arrieta the edge, but overall it's Matusz.

Hmm...I guess I should have said primary breaking ball? But yes, I think pure stuff goes to Arrieta, while Matusz is the better pitcher at this point.

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