Mat Latos Reds Review

  • Who: Mat Latos
  • What: Trade Report
  • When: December 11, 2014
  • Where: San Diego, California (Annual MLB Meetings)
  • Why: To relieve up to $10 million in contract arbitration

So December 17th, 2011 was one interesting day if anyone follows the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds acquired a pitcher by the name of Mat Latos in exchange for four players who are now not on the same team he was traded from, those San Diego Padres. Consider it an Aflac Trivia question when it comes to this transaction, maybe a Jeopardy question. On that December day, Reds sent Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal and Edinson Volquez packing to San Diego. Out of those four, Volquez was a known Reds player while the rest were prospects.

Now to the actual review of his 2012-2014 seasons.

2012

Mat was starting to habit a very new change to him and it would impact his pitching deeply. Mat went to pitching friendly confines of Petco Park to hitting friendly confines of Great American Ballpark. In April 2012, he struggled and had to adjust to new life and division and what was going to be a competitive Central division. In the first three starts, he really struggled and started out with a 8.22 ERA. Once a familiar foe in the San Francisco Giants came to Cincinnati, he found a groove and a 7-0 record in 15 starts.

The 15 start line

  • 7-0, 94.1 IP/79 H/40 R/36 ER/25 BB/92 SO/15 HR/2 HBP
  • 20.57% H/10.42% R/6.51% BB/23.96% SO/3.91% HR/0.52% HBP
  • .224/.280/.423/.703
  • BABIP: .261

That 15 game stretch led up to the All-Star break, he and the Reds went to win the Central with him pitching the clincher at home. As for the postseason run, he had quite the experience and was unique in baseball. In Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS, Johnny Cueto got the start and within 8 pitches, he injures his back while delivering a pitch, this moment led to a relief appearance in which he pitched 4 innings in a 5-2 Cincinnati win. Now for the bad in Latos, Posey’s Game 5. Through 4+ innings of the Game 5 in which Latos had to pitch to cover Cueto’s start, he and Giants Pitcher Matt Cain were in a good dual. In the 5th inning, Latos went through some trouble and his fielders caused errors which led to 2-0 with 1 out and Buster Posey up with the bases loaded. In most cases, this is high leverage situation with this being an elimination game. Then Reds manager Dusty Baker elects to keep Latos in instead of going through bullpen which changes the dynamic of the game, the change didn’t happen and the outcome shows the Buster Posey is a beast that is hard to tame. Posey took it long to left field in which led to a 6-0 Giants lead in which they never look back. This would be the last time Mat Latos would face the Giants, as well as Matt Cain.

Those 4 Matchups with the Giants in 2012:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

2013

With new habits changing to Latos in 2012. Did Mat actually follow through to not make those mistakes again? In the gamelogs on Baseball-reference, it shows that he had a better start with his 2013 season than 2012. The first 14 games, he had a 6-0 record with April having all Quality Starts with 6.

The 14 starts

  • 90.2 IP/85 H/36 R/31 ER/23 BB/78 SO/8 HR/3 HBP
  • 22.67% H/9.60% R/6.13% BB/20.8% SO/2.13% HR/0.8% HBP
  • .247/.299/.392/.692
  • BABIP: .297

The Reds were indeed in another postseason run, but Mat had elbow issues towards the end of September, which kept them out of the postseason and possibly cost him a start in the wildcard game. Latos had elbow surgery and had a long recovery to spring training.

2014

In the off season, Mat had to come back from the elbow surgery and made it on time for pitchers and catcher report, but the first day brought another setback. On February 14th, that first day, Mat tore cartilage in his left knee and sidelined him till June 14th and played the next three months before being shut down after the New York Mets series. This 2014 season showed decline, even though he made $7.25 million in the 2014 season.

What happens in 2015

Mat is on his last season of arbitration and could make up to $8-$12 million dollars with one season. The Marlins as an organization are buying in this off season with lifetime contract to Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and acquiring infielder Dee Gordon from the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as Dan Haren.

Minimal Prediction:

  • 11-6/32 games/1 complete game
  • 206.1 IP/185 H/83 R/76 ER/19 HR/58 BB/6 IBB/174 SO/5 WP/853 BF
  • 3.32 ERA/1.18 WHIP
  • PER 9: 8.1 H/0.8 HR/2.5 BB/7.6 SO
  • 3.0 K/BB

TYPICAL START

  • 6-7 IP/4-8 H/1-4 R/1-3 ER/1-2 BB/3-5 SO/0-1 HR

The Cincinnati Career:

  • 33-16/81 G/3 CG
  • 522.1 IP/468 H/211 R/192 ER/48 HR/148 BB/16 IBB/446 SO/BK/12 WP/2159 BF
  • 3.31 ERA/3.51 FIP/1.179 WHIP
  • PER 9: 8.1 H/0.8 HR/2.6 BB/7.7 SO
  • 3.01 K/BB

Mat Latos