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Arrieta vs Matusz


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Yes, that's the definition of ceiling (I don't mean to come off as an a**hole, I swear). You're looking at this from a likely outcome standpoint. Arrieta is far less likely to reach his ceiling than Matusz, and Matusz will probably end up being a better, more consistent pitcher. But if both pitchers reach their absolute ceilings, Arrieta will be the better pitcher.

I understand where you are coming from with your thoughts on ceiling, but I think when you look at the entire package, I'm not sure Arrieta gets the ceiling edge, even with the better velocity and movement on his fastball.

If Arrieta was 21-years old he might get the edge, but the fact is that Arrieta is 24-years old and has the same issues that he;s had since he was drafted basically. He's improved of course, but he still has similar issues with command.

He's a year older than Matusz which also gives Matusz a slight edge on ceiling.

When you look at stuff, makeup, and particularly command, Matusz gets the edge when it comes to pure ceiling unless your ceiling includes Arrieta suddenly fixing the command of all his pitches.

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Do you consider a change up as part of raw stuff? If so, Matusz has the higher ceiling IMHO.

Yes, but a CH is less important than a FB or primary breaking ball. Changeups more than any other pitch can be taught. You raise an interesting component to ceiling. A lot of times people talk about how young pitchers could be dominant if they can develop a CH. Arrieta is no different. Matusz has a plus/plus CH and Arrieta probably won't ever have more than an average to tick above average CH, but you also have to realize that Matusz's best pitch is his CH. Arrieta is a FB pitcher who will use his primary breaking ball as his out pitch.

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Some guys will never have great command, you're right, but command can be taught to a much, much larger extent than velocity. And DCab did have an huge ceiling, you have to remember that. Why else do you think a guy that struggled as much as he did was given the amount of opportunities he got?

I would say that command can be taught to a little more of an extent but not to a "much much larger" extent. Not only can a guy add velocity to improve his stuff which I agree is uncommon, but he can add pitches and/or do things to improve or change the movement on his pitches, both which are much more common.

And DCab was given as many chances as he was because we were an inept organization who didn't understand what I'm telling you right now! :)

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I would say that command can be taught to a little more of an extent but not to a "much much larger" extent. Not only can a guy add velocity to improve his stuff which I agree is uncommon, but he can add pitches and/or do things to improve or change the movement on his pitches, both which are much more common.

And DCab was given as many chances as he was because we were an inept organization who didn't understand what I'm telling you right now! :)

Well, then there were a lot of inept organizations because rumors were rampant about other teams' interest in DCab IIRC.

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I understand where you are coming from with your thoughts on ceiling, but I think when you look at the entire package, I'm not sure Arrieta gets the ceiling edge, even with the better velocity and movement on his fastball.

If Arrieta was 21-years old he might get the edge, but the fact is that Arrieta is 24-years old and has the same issues that he;s had since he was drafted basically. He's improved of course, but he still has similar issues with command.

He's a year older than Matusz which also gives Matusz a slight edge on ceiling.

When you look at stuff, makeup, and particularly command, Matusz gets the edge when it comes to pure ceiling unless your ceiling includes Arrieta suddenly fixing the command of all his pitches.

Hmm, I admit I overlooked age. But I still think Arrieta could be the ace of this staff. He'll never command all his pitches, but if he can command his FB well, his primary breaking ball a little better, and develop a decent CH, he could be an ace. Obviously this is a tall order, as we've previously discussed, but I think it's possible. Tony, do you think Matusz has better makeup than Arrieta? I think Matusz has an edge, but they both can get a bit rattled, and Arrieta seems to have a bit more of a bulldog mentality.

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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 has better pure stuff than Matusz. This year, the only plus pitch I see from Matusz is the curve. The changeup has regressed big time IMO, but even when in tip top shape, I still think Jake has better overall stuff. The kicker though is that Matusz has much better command of his pitches and has a better feel for pitching in general, so he gets more K's.

Matusz 2010: AVG FB, +CU, slightly above AVG changeup.

Arrieta 2010: +FB, +CU, +SL, below AVG CH(though he does throw some solid changesup every now and again)

And, Matusz's issue with the changeup has a lot to do with his FB. It has regressed in terms of velocity this year, but the changeup has maintained the same velocity. If his velocity returns to it's normal levels, his changeup should look a lot better.

Arrieta has the higher ceiling, Matusz isn't far behind though, but IMO has more of a #2 ceiling with a very high floor and a great chance in reaching his ceiling. Hands down, Matusz has the best chance to lead our rotation going forward, but Arrieta has the potential to become better in time, we shall see.....

This is why I like Britton so much though, he can get his FB up into Arrieta levels as far as velo, but has even more movement, even with the 4 seamer IMO. He also has an above average to plus slider and a developing changeup with better command than Arrieta. He misses low in the zone with his stuff and will induce ridiculous amounts of GB's. How well those GB's will translate to the ML is kinda a wildcard, and even in talks with other "prospect junkies", they find it somewhat difficult to really project what he will become because it is unknown how much that 3:1 GO/AO will augment his game at the ML level. If you think about it like this, if Britton was a flyball pitcher with a plus FB, slider that projects to be plus and a changeup that projects to be average, he projects as a mid rotation starter in my book. But, if you throw in the fact that he gets 3 ground outs to every 1 fly out, how much better does that make him? Not saying he will become the ace of the staff, but he IMO is a wildcard and has the potential to surprise......

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I absolutely love what Matusz is going to be in a year or two. That guy is going to throw the next Orioles no-hitter.

Matusz is just on a different level than those other guys right now. I love Tillman's stuff and Arrieta's stuff when they're on, but I just don't think it's likely that they hit their ceilings. If some teams out there see them as future aces, then I would look to deal them to fill the holes at SS and 1B (and maybe 3B).

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I understand where you are coming from with your thoughts on ceiling, but I think when you look at the entire package, I'm not sure Arrieta gets the ceiling edge, even with the better velocity and movement on his fastball.

If Arrieta was 21-years old he might get the edge, but the fact is that Arrieta is 24-years old and has the same issues that he;s had since he was drafted basically. He's improved of course, but he still has similar issues with command.

He's a year older than Matusz which also gives Matusz a slight edge on ceiling.

When you look at stuff, makeup, and particularly command, Matusz gets the edge when it comes to pure ceiling unless your ceiling includes Arrieta suddenly fixing the command of all his pitches.

I agree, but also disagree. Arrieta may be 24, but also at the age of 24 showed more development than he did when he was 22 or 23 in our system. I always thought the ceiling was what to expect if everything came together and shouldn't really change much as the player gets older(until peak age) except for his chance of reaching that ceiling. Of course, when the pitcher is 35 you don't expect him to develop any more, but up until they reach their peak at the age of 27 or so, there is still development to occur whether its significant development though is another story.

But, in the grand scheme of things, I agree with you, its more of a disagreement of semantics. I don't expect Arrieta to suddenly figure it all out. I do think he will slightly improve his command and changeup, but not enough to fulfill his potential. I say he becomes a mid rotation arm...

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Arrieta has better pure stuff than Matusz. This year, the only plus pitch I see from Matusz is the curve. The changeup has regressed big time IMO, but even when in tip top shape, I still think Jake has better overall stuff. The kicker though is that Matusz has much better command of his pitches and has a better feel for pitching in general, so he gets more K's.

Matusz 2010: AVG FB, +CU, slightly above AVG changeup.

Arrieta 2010: +FB, +CU, +SL, below AVG CH(though he does throw some solid changesup every now and again)

And, Matusz's issue with the changeup has a lot to do with his FB. It has regressed in terms of velocity this year, but the changeup has maintained the same velocity. If his velocity returns to it's normal levels, his changeup should look a lot better.

Arrieta has the higher ceiling, Matusz isn't far behind though, but IMO has more of a #2 ceiling with a very high floor and a great chance in reaching his ceiling. Hands down, Matusz has the best chance to lead our rotation going forward, but Arrieta has the potential to become better in time, we shall see.....

This is why I like Britton so much though, he can get his FB up into Arrieta levels as far as velo, but has even more movement, even with the 4 seamer IMO. He also has an above average to plus slider and a developing changeup with better command than Arrieta. He misses low in the zone with his stuff and will induce ridiculous amounts of GB's. How well those GB's will translate to the ML is kinda a wildcard, and even in talks with other "prospect junkies", they find it somewhat difficult to really project what he will become because it is unknown how much that 3:1 GO/AO will augment his game at the ML level. If you think about it like this, if Britton was a flyball pitcher with a plus FB, slider that projects to be plus and a changeup that projects to be average, he projects as a mid rotation starter in my book. But, if you throw in the fact that he gets 3 ground outs to every 1 fly out, how much better does that make him? Not saying he will become the ace of the staff, but he IMO is a wildcard and has the potential to surprise......

This is where people get fooled in the velocity argument. You and others downgrade Matusz's fastball because it's only 89-90, but the quality of the changeup makes that fastball seem a lot faster to the hitter.

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Hmm, I admit I overlooked age. But I still think Arrieta could be the ace of this staff. He'll never command all his pitches, but if he can command his FB well, his primary breaking ball a little better, and develop a decent CH, he could be an ace. Obviously this is a tall order, as we've previously discussed, but I think it's possible. Tony, do you think Matusz has better makeup than Arrieta? I think Matusz has an edge, but they both can get a bit rattled, and Arrieta seems to have a bit more of a bulldog mentality.

I like them both on the mound. They both don't get overly rattled and seem to be able to make quality pitches in tight jams. I think it's a toss up and from what I've seen and heard, Arrieta has really improved in this area since being drafted.

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Yea, I just don't agree...That's fine...I see nothing from Arrieta that makes me think his ceiling is higher...Just because he throws harder doesn't do it for me.

I think the idea of "the stars, galaxies, cosmos, etc.." need to align perfectly and he will be better is just far fetched and a worthless statement to make.

You really don't get it do you? This entire thread different folks have engaged you and pointed out that it isn't just the fact that Arrieta "throws harder" that separates his stuff and potential from Matusz. Arrieta's fastballs have a lot more movement than Matusz and one of them (two seamer?) he throws as an offspeed pitch and it bites down almost like a sinker. He has made some good hitters look bad with that pitch.

I also disagree with Tony that Arrieta's curve ball is inferior to Matusz. When Arrieta has a good one it is much more "Bedard-like" in its break and velocity whereas Matusz has one that isn't thrown that hard and doesn't break nearly as much and is in fact quite a dangerous pitch if he leaves it over the middle of the plate. He has given up some monster shot homers when he hangs one. I haven't seen hitters doing much with Arrieta's curve but he also doesn't throw it as much and his command is a lot worse with it than Matusz. However, when he is throwing it well it is superior to Matusz throwing his well.

So IMO Arrieta has three pitches better than Matusz. Both his four and two seam fastball and his curve. Matusz has a much better change and slider and that is it. So from my perspective Arrieta's stuff is clearly superior but Matusz has better command (most of the time). Rick Dempsey who has caught a lot of major league pitching agrees with those of us who think's Arrieta has the most potential to become an ace. He has said it numerous times. Whether you care for Dempsey or not he undoubtly knows more about a pitcher's stuff than any of us here.

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You really don't get it do you? This entire thread different folks have engaged you and pointed out that it isn't just the fact that Arrieta "throws harder" that separates his stuff and potential from Matusz. Arrieta's fastballs have a lot more movement than Matusz and one of them (two seamer?) he throws as an offspeed pitch and it bites down almost like a sinker. He has made some good hitters look bad with that pitch.

I also disagree with Tony that Arrieta's curve ball is inferior to Matusz. When Arrieta has a good one it is much more "Bedard-like" in its break and velocity whereas Matusz has one that isn't thrown that hard and doesn't break nearly as much and is in fact quite a dangerous pitch if he leaves it over the middle of the plate. He has given up some monster shot homers when he hangs one. I haven't seen hitters doing much with Arrieta's curve but he also doesn't throw it as much and his command is a lot worse with it than Matusz. However, when he is throwing it well it is superior to Matusz throwing his well.

So IMO Arrieta has three pitches better than Matusz. Both his four and two seam fastball and his curve. Matusz has a much better change and slider and that is it. So from my perspective Arrieta's stuff is clearly superior but Matusz has better command (most of the time). Rick Dempsey who has caught a lot of major league pitching agrees with those of us who think's Arrieta has the most potential to become an ace. He has said it numerous times. Whether you care for Dempsey or not he undoubtly knows more about a pitcher's stuff than any of us here.

Wow, I don't even know where to start. Look, no offense, but you don't know what you are talking about here. That "sinker" type pitch is his slider. It bites downward almost like a hard 12-6 curveball but it's a slider. No one throws a 86-88 MPH curveball.

His curveball is a 12-6 mid-70s pitch. I'll accept an argument that Arrieta's slider can be better than Matusz's curveball at times, but command is not an afterthought, it's huge. You can have the raw stuff you want and it won't help you if you can not command it. The K:BB ratios for Matusz and Arrieta tell you all you need to know about their stuff from a hitter's perspective.

I grew up loving Dempsey. He was a great defensive catcher and I'll never take anything away from what kind of player he was. Unfortunately, almost every time I've heard him open his mouth as a broadcaster I can't help but shutter.

I'm fine with people who like Arrieta more. Lots of people are wowed by velocity and if I'm a radar scout I'm going to love Arrieta over Matusz ever day of the week. However, we have these little things called stats and they tell us that hitters don't like facing Matusz more than Arrieta.

When you talk overall ceiling it's semantics on how you judge that ceiling. I'm fine with people who say Arrieta has a higher ceiling if in their option his raw stuff grades out higher. I just don't agree that his ceiling is as high as Matusz, mainly because of Matusz's better command and more effective offspeed pitches.

You are counting his 2-seam and 4-seam fastball as two different pitches but I bet you can't tell them apart 90% of the time.

BTW, most breaking balls left over the plate in the major leagues are very hittable.

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This is where people get fooled in the velocity argument. You and others downgrade Matusz's fastball because it's only 89-90, but the quality of the changeup makes that fastball seem a lot faster to the hitter.

Koji chimes in here too and says hi. ;)

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