Cincinnati Reds 2015 Projections: Mat Latos

2014 was far from being a successful campaign for Mat Latos. Prior to the beginning of spring training, Latos had to have surgery to repair a torn meniscus, two words that are slowly becoming a nightmare to Reds fans. After this past season, Latos underwent a procedure where stem cells would be injected into is ailing elbow . After 2013, he had a procedure on the same elbow to remove bone spurs and apparently it was discovered there was a missing ligament.

Keep these in mind as you view the 2015 Steamer projections for Latos…

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Now, I’m not 100% positive that injuries play a role in Steamer arriving at these numbers. If you take the three seasons that Latos has been a member of the Cincinnati Reds, it seems that could be the case. Here’s what Latos has done since arriving in the Queen City:

[table id=17 /]

When I first saw the projections, I went back on multiple occasions to see if they were as bad as they appear. Much to my dismay, they didn’t change. The only reason I can think they would be as “off” as they are from his averages in Cincy is Latos’ health. If you don’t belive me, head to Fangraphs for yourself. I’m sure your jaw may drop a little.

But there were a couple of other areas that grabbed my attention.

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  • 1. HR/9

    The most home runs Latos has surrendered in any given season was his first as a Red when he allowed 25 and those came in pitching over 200 innings. His HR/9 that season was also a career high of 1.07. For the upcoming season, the projections have Latos hurling only 173, but serving up 23. That works to an HR/9 of 1.21 which would then become the highest of his career.

    2. BAA

    No one will dispute that GABP is a hitter’s park. We as Reds fans clearly understands that. And while that could play (somewhat) in the above seemingly inflated HR/9 projection, the same projections also “decided” that Latos will be serving up more hits as a whole. In 2013, the BAA for Latos was .242, highest in his six season of professional baseball. The 2015 projections have the BAA at .251.

    3. ERA and FIP

    We see these in the first chart. So as you may be able to guess, the projections reflect that Latos’ ERA and FIP would both be a career worst. And it’s hard to imagine they would be this far off from his career highs in these categories. His peak ERA was 4.62 in 2009, his first exposure to the majors. For his FIP for that same season was 4.72. These numbers came in only 10 games and he threw only 50.2 innings.

    Despite the injury bug that gripped Latos last season, these projections show a vast regression from Latos’ norm. Is this something in which Reds fans should be concerned? On one hand, yes as we obviously do not wish Latos to fall this far. On the other hand, no. These are projections and regardless on how they are derived, the chances of them being on the mark are extremely slim.

    First and foremost, Latos must be healthy in 2015. If he cannot regain that health, 2015 could be as long a haul as 2014. An unhealthy Latos would most likely lead to another subpar finish from the Redlegs.