Phil Maton’s Development of a Cut Fastball

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San Diego Padres’ right-handed pitcher Phil Maton has developed a cutter. In an attempt to become a more efficient pitcher, the hurler is utilizing the cut fastball effectively in 2019.

Phil Maton has been riding the rollercoaster this year. He has been up and down from El Paso to San Diego a few times.

The right-handed pitcher has an important future with the club but is struggling to find his identity. That can often be the case for young pitchers, and it is just part of the process of their growth at the major league level. It may take time, but there is tremendous upside with the right-handed pitcher.

Maton is focused on improving currently. He is eager to get better and wants to show his worth to the Padres. “I am doing good. The body feels nice. Just trying to keep the arm feeling good,” Maton told EVT. He reports that he is at full strength and ready to contribute.

His time in the PCL was tough, as the pitcher has clear major league aspirations. In Triple-A, Maton worked on a few things with the help of the coaching staff in El Paso. It is refreshing that the young pitcher is improving in a few areas. “The staff in El Paso was helpful to me. I am trying to dial in the delivery,” Maton said. “I am trying to land in a more powerful position each time I throw. Being in a more athletic position,” Maton stated. He is working hard to improve his mechanics. He wants to get himself in a better position once he releases the ball. As a pitcher, there are always things to work on when it comes to improving your craft.

This season, Maton is throwing a cut fastball. It is a relatively new pitch for the hurler in 2019. “It is more about manipulating the fastball and giving me options. I am trying to generate more weak contact by the hitters,” Maton explained. He is still perfecting the pitch, which takes time. “I am just feeling out when in counts I need to throw it. It’s not really a called pitch by the catcher,” Maton said. He locates and utilizes the pitch based upon what the hitter is doing. He is creative in trying to get hitters out.

Maton threw a curve more frequently in the past, but the cutter has taken the place of it. “It is a situation where I kind of like the harder breaking ball a little bit more this year,” Maton said. The curve is still being used by the pitcher, but not as frequently as before. “I am just feeling it out and figuring out which spots to use each breaking ball. It is a new thing for me to have two breaking pitches,” Maton admits. It could take time for him to perfect each pitch and when to use them. But the right-handed pitcher is trying something new, and you have to respect that.

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