Hey! Mat Latos, everybody! Future Toronto Blue Jay Mat Latos! Current Buffalo Bison Mat Latos!
Shi Davidi reports for Sportsnet that, after Latos was informed that he’s been assigned to Triple-A, he made the decision to “stay with the organization rather than utilize one of the opt outs in his minor-league contract.”
Does “one of” imply that there’s another opt-out date down the line, meaning that Latos will have another chance to assess his situation within the organization and move on? Oh, probably!
But the Jays at least have a chance to take a longer look, and Latos has a chance to continue to try and rediscover… something.
How much of what he once was is still in there, I have no idea. The numbers in a very small sample at the end of 2016 look alright, at least in terms of strikeouts, but things have been pretty damned ugly since the first half of his 2015 season, when he was in Miami. And even then, I look at his numbers over those 16 starts — 4.48 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 3.68 xFIP — and can’t help but think about the end of Josh Johnson’s days, when it started to become clear that we weren’t watching an unlucky pitcher getting unfortunate results, but that his fielding independent numbers were lagging behind the reality of the fact that he was all but finished.
Even with some powerful small sample caveats, I wonder the same sorts of things about last year’s 6.52 ERA and five walks over 9.2 innings with the Nationals, despite the 10 strikeouts and sub-4.00 FIP.
Excited for Latos yet?
I’m maybe being a little unfair, but the fact that he thinks this is his best situation at the moment doesn’t really speak well to where he’s at, nor does the fact that all spring we’ve played the “some of those innings were good, if we just ignore the bad ones!” game with him.
Taking a look can’t hurt. Letting him get even farther from the knee troubles that derailed him in 2014 and 2015 can’t hurt. And potentially converting him to a reliever down the line can’t hurt, either. But… yeah… welcome to Buffalo, Mat. Let’s see how this goes…