San Diego Padres: Phil Maton is Cruising Right Along for the Friars

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Phil Maton /

The San Diego Padres have to be extremely pleased with the progress Phil Maton has made this season.

After appearing in 46 games for the San Diego Padres last season, pitching to a 4.19 earned-run average with 9.63 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.93 walks allowed per nine innings, Phil Maton has exploded in 2018.

After thirteen appearances this season (0.69 earned-run average, 9.69 strikeouts per nine, and a fielding independent rating (FIP) of 2.85, as per Fangraphs, Maton finds himself among some pretty lofty company.

These stats have vaulted him into the top of a number of relief pitching categories. Among qualified National League relievers, the 25-year-old right-hander ranks seventh in left-on-base percentage with a sparkling 94.7%.

The league leaders, Brian Duensing of the Cubs and, shockingly, Hansel Robles of the Mets (his 7.42 FIP is highest in all of baseball for a qualified reliever and his 5.23 earned-run average ain’t too pretty either), both have left-on-base percentages of 100%.

Maton’s 0.69 earned-run average is tied for seventh in the NL among relievers with Dylan Floro of the Reds, trailing Duensing (0.00), Jeremy Jeffress (0.45), Carl Edwards Jr. (0.53), Tony Watson (0.57), and Ross Stripling (0.59). Lofty company, indeed.

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Where Maton and the San Diego Padres stand in FIP

While Phil Maton’s 2.85 FIP ranks just outside of the top-thirty in the league for relief pitchers (31st), four other San Diego Padres populate that list.

Brad Hand (2.32) is 20th. Craig Stammen (2.27) is 18th. Robbie Erlin (1.68) is ninth and Adam Cimber (1.50) is sixth.

The combination and effectiveness of this group, including a more-impressive-by-the-day Phil Maton should result in a lot more opportunities to win games once the offense begins clicking again consistently.

Maton has only allowed one earned run all season, in his two-thirds of an inning appearance against the Mets on April 29.

That raised his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to a bloated 0.90. He’s gotten that back down to his current 0.69 by retiring the last nine of ten batters he’s faced (one bases-on-balls issues last night).

His 1.38 WHIP would greatly benefit from some added attention being paid to Maton keeping control of his pitches and keeping his balls down in the zone.

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If he can improve on the one area that’s plagued him this season, the San Diego Padres could have a total package of sorts in their bullpen.