Astros Player of the Day: Matt Gage

Feb 17, 2023; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Matt Gage (92) delivers a pitch during a spring training workout at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Astros Player of the Day: Matt Gage

Welcome to Gallery Sports’ Houston Astros Spring Training player spotlight, Astros Player of the Day. We will look at a different Astros player each day throughout spring training.

Today’s Astros Player of the Day is reliever Matt Gage.

Gage is the newest addition to the Astros roster after he was claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays on Feb. 13. Originally drafted in the 10th round by the Giants in 2014, Gage also pitched in the Mets and Diamondbacks organizations before making his Major League debut for Toronto on June 6, 2022.

In 11 games with the Blue Jays, Gage allowed two earned runs over 13 innings while striking out 24% of the hitters he faced. Left-handed hitters were 0-for-9 with four strikeouts against him, though he did walk three.

While pitching for Triple-A Buffalo, Gage overwhelmed lefties, striking out 38.6% of the 88 he faced, and limited them to a slash line of .086/.149/.111, but he could not come close to matching that success against righties. His strikeout rate was cut in half to 18.5%, and he allowed a .271/.363/.355 slash line.

Gage’s 92.8 MPH average fastball velocity puts him in the bottom 20% among all Major League pitchers, per Baseball Savant. He threw that pitch 51.3% of the time while mixing in a cutter on 42.8% of his pitches. He mixed in the occasional slider, generating a swinging strike on all three he threw to lefties, who swung and missed 40% of the time on his fastball and cutter.

As the last man to join the Astros before the start of spring training, Gage finds himself behind incumbents Blake Taylor and Parker Mushinski on the quest of winning a job on the opening day roster, but it bodes well for his future within the organization that the team made him their first 40-man roster addition under new general manager Dana Brown.

There’s no question Gage can have success against left-handed hitters, but the three-batter minimum makes it essential for him to be able to hold his own against righties, and with that, the jury is still out.

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