MATTHEW Matthew LIBERATORE
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Nickname:   N/A Position:   LHP
Home: N/A Team:   CARDINALS
Height: 6' 4" Bats:   L
Weight: 200 Throws:   L
DOB: 11/6/1999 Agent: N/A
Uniform #: 52  
Birth City: Peoria, AZ
Draft: Rays #1 - 2018 - Out of high school (AZ)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G IP H SO BB GS CG SHO SV W L OBA ERA
2018 GCL GCL-Rays   8 27.2 16 32 11 8 0 0 0 1 2   0.98
2018 APP PRINCETON   1 5 5 5 2 1 0 0 0 1 0   3.60
2019 MWL BOWLING GREEN   16 78.1 70 76 31 15 1 0 0 6 2   3.10
2021 TAE MEMPHIS   22 125 123 123 33 18 0 0 0 9 9 0.257 4.04
2022 IL MEMPHIS   22 115 118 116 41 22 0 0 0 7 9   5.17
2022 NL CARDINALS   9 34.2 42 28 18 7 0 0 0 2 2 0.304 5.97
2023 IL MEMPHIS   13 64.2 58 84 38 13 0 0 0 4 3   4.18
2023 NL CARDINALS   22 61.2 66 46 25 11 0 0 0 3 6 0.274 5.25
2024 NL CARDINALS   25 34.2 30 27 14 3 0 0 0 1 2 0.244 4.41
Personal
  •  Liberatore graduated from Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona. In his senior year, he posted an 8-1 record with an outstanding 0.93 ERA and 104 strikeouts.

  • Matthew committed to the Univ. of Arizona before his senior year (2018) at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona.

  • Nolan Gorman and Liberatore has been friends with since they were 5 years old.

      "Matt emulates Max Scherzer and Aroldis Chapman," Nolan said at 2020 spring training.

  • Gorman and Matthew Liberatore have been best friends and (mostly) teammates since they were very young. Even their parents are close to each other.

    The boys spent their youth on the same travel-ball teams and ultimately became highly decorated stars (albeit at rival schools). They also committed to the same college, the University of Arizona . . . but never made it there. Following their senior seasons in high school, they secure signing bonuses in excess of $3 million after coming off the board in the first round of the 2018 Draft.

    Then, nineteen months later Nolan and Matthew wound up in the same organization and found themselves ranked as the Cardinals' top prospects, behind OF Dylan Carlson at #1. (Stan McNeal - Cardinals Magazine - March, 2020)

  • Not long after young Liberatore began pitching, he drilled a batter with a fastball to the back. While others tended to the fallen youngster, Matthew started walking toward the plate, leading his dad to believe he also wanted to check on the hitter.

    Dad whiffed on this one.

    "He stops halfway, picks up the baseball, walks back up the mound, and turns around ready to pitch."

    By the time Liberatore turned 12, his dad couldn't beat him in ping-pong anymore. "And I had a table in college and thought I was pretty good," Anthony revealed. (Stan McNeal - Cardinals Magazine - March 2020)

  • June 2018: The Rays chose Liberatore with their #1 pick (#16 overall), out of Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, AZ. And Matthew signed for $3.5 million, via scout David Hamblett. 

  • Matthew won a gold medal with the U.S. 18U Nationals Team, where he pitched six scoreless innings. He had also been named Arizona’s player of the year back in 2018.

  • 2019 Season: In 2019 Liberatore moved up to the Midwest League (A Full), where he spent the entire year and gave scouts their best full look at what he can do. Over the year, he would end with 76 strikeouts, a 3.10 ERA and gave up just two home runs. Liberatore finished the year with a record of 6-2 and pitched a total of 78 innings. For such a young pitcher, this is quite impressive.

    While Liberatore has only played for two years, he has already shown a lot of potential. He has exhibited each year that he can limit home run balls and keep his number of walks low. Liberatore has been able to utilize his four pitchers very nicely with his curveball earning the highest rating of 60 according to MLB.com. (Jake Ricker - October 28, 2019)

  • In 2020, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Matthew as the 3rd-best prospect in the Rays' organization. He moved up to #2, behind only OF Dylan Carlson, in 2021.

    In the spring of 2023, Liberatore was 4th-best.

  • Jan 9, 2020: Cardinals third-base prospect Nolan Gorman was playing mini-golf in Palm Beach, Fla., when his best friend called him. He was with a group of fellow young Cardinals on an outing during the organization’s instructional program, so he didn’t answer. Then Matthew texted, saying he needed to talk to him. Eventually Gorman called back and got the news that everyone had been talking about.

    “I called him and he told me, ‘I’ve been traded. I’m coming to the Cardinals,'” Gorman said.

    The trade that brought Liberatore, No. 41 on MLB Pipeline’s 2019 Top 100 Prospects list, into the same organization as Gorman, ranked just ahead of his friend at No. 38, sent Jose Martinez and prospect Randy Arozarena to the Rays.

    “It was kind of shock, surprise, anything to do with those two,” Gorman said. “We’ve often talked about playing pro ball together, playing for the same team. I was excited about it and from what I can tell, he’s pretty excited about it as well.

    “Obviously, we haven’t gone through being traded. I asked him how he felt, and he said he was a little surprised they traded him, but he knew he was going to a good organization and the Cards wanted him. He’s excited to come over and start a new chapter with us.”

    Gorman and Liberatore have been teammates, competitors, and close friends pretty much since they started playing baseball in the Phoenix area. Their families have vacationed together, they played travel ball together, went to summer showcase events together and eventually, became Draft prospects together. As the spotlight got brighter, the duo did let themselves dream about making the next step in tandem.

    “When the Draft stuff started to pick up for us, we would talk about playing pro ball and how cool it would be to start our career and get to the dream of playing in the big leagues and being there for a long time,” said Gorman, who was the 19th overall pick of the 2018 Draft, three selections after Liberatore was taken by the Rays. “That all happened for us. The first offseason for us, after a half season of pro ball, we said, ‘Can you imagine playing together?’”

    Now they’ll get that chance. The pair both spent their first Spring Trainings in Florida, but on opposite coasts of the state. Whether they play together once the season starts remains to be seen, but Nolan isn’t worried about that now. He can’t wait for them to be with each other every day throughout the Grapefruit League season. (J Mayo MLB.com - Jan 9, 2020)

  • Feb 17, 2020: For the first time in around two years, Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore dueled against each other, with Liberatore on the mound and Gorman at the plate. The childhood friends, who went to rival Arizona high schools but played on the same competitive team throughout their youth, were in the same uniform again for the Cardinals first full-squad workout. And by coincidence or not, there they were on the same field for live batting practice.

    “Wasn’t scripted from me,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We wanted to have a lefty and righty in every group that they face. I can tell you it was not scripted on my end, but I’m sure they’ll enjoy it.”

    That they did. Both got a sense for how much the other has grown since being drafted in the first round in 2018. In January, the Cardinals traded José Martínez and Randy Arozarena for the pitching prospect. According to MLB Pipeline, Gorman was the Cardinals’ No. 2 prospect in 2019 and is ranked No. 47 nationally in this year's Top 100 Prospects list, while Liberatore was No. 3 for St. Louis and currently sits at No. 58 in all of baseball.

    After the trade, Gorman and Liberatore made plans to live together in Jupiter, Florida this spring, and also if they’re on the same team this season.

    “He’s grown, so he looks taller on the mound,” Gorman said. “But he’s just mentally much more advanced right now than he was when we faced each other in high school.”

    Gorman got a good feel for Liberatore’s slider, the pitch that has developed the most since high school. On Monday, Liberatore threw a cutter-like slider, and Gorman chased it in the dirt once.

    “It’s more of a sharp, late break,” Gorman said. “He wants to get down in the zone and get people to swing over the top of it. Back in high school, I’d say it kind of slid more. But he’s throwing it harder now, and he’s got good command of it.”

    But Liberatore isn’t the only one who’s gotten better.

    “He’s more complete than he was,” Liberatore said. “He knows what his weak points are, and he’s started to lay off the pitches that he knows he can’t hit. He’s looking for one pitch in one location versus trying to be overly aggressive swinging at pitches that don’t benefit him, so you get a much better approach.”

    Many hitters tracked a lot more pitches than they swung at, but Gorman decidedly did not take many from Liberatore. They weren’t keeping count, but the left-handed hitting third baseman got under Liberatore’s final pitch and watched it fly to center field before falling short of the wall.

    “The wind’s blowing in,” Gorman quipped as he stepped out of the cage.

    Liberatore responded later: “He’s said that about pretty much every fly ball he’s hit off me.” (A Rogers - MLB.com - Feb 17, 2020)

  • June 2021: Liberatore was selected to represent the Cardinals in the MLB All-Star Futures Game.

  • March 7, 2022: As he does every night before bed, Matthew cleared his brain, slowed down his breathing, and worked to get himself into an optimal state of mind. Once there, the 22-year-old left-hander visualized himself standing tall on the mound and throwing strike after strike on the first day of the Cardinals’ Minor League Spring Training.

    Working to imagine the task ahead, Liberatore said, helps him be calm, confident and prepared when the moment arises . . . as it did in the Cardinals’ opening workout. That tactic also helped Liberatore dig his way out of a slow start at Triple-A Memphis last season, reestablishing himself as one of the top prospects in St. Louis' system (No. 2 per MLB Pipeline).

    “I do a lot of visualization work, a lot of breath work, and trying to put myself into the settings that I want to see myself in in the future,” Liberatore said after throwing a bullpen session. “I try to make it as realistic as possible -- sight, sound, taste and touch. I do that every night before I go to bed for about 10 or 15 minutes. Then, when it comes time to live out that visualization, it’s like I have done it a thousand times already.”

    Liberatore, like many of the 153 players in attendance at the first workout of Minor League Spring Training, is trying to visualize himself making the jump to the big leagues. That, of course, isn’t possible with owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association locked in a labor standoff.

  • Liberatore, the left-hander who was aggressively pushed to Triple-A last season, didn’t find a level of comfort until midseason. Regarded as the nation’s top high school pitcher when he was picked 16th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft by Tampa Bay, Liberatore was unexpectedly rocked early with Memphis. He dropped his first three decisions and had a 5.48 ERA in four May starts. However, he righted the ship with a 3-1 record in June, a strong SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game showing and solid ERAs in August (2.84) and September (2.83).

    “I think I learned a lot about myself last year,” said Liberatore, who ended up 9-9 overall. “I faced a good amount of failure in the first half of the season, and I got hit around a little bit, so I learned how to deal with that.”

    Like Gorman, his teammate and roommate at Memphis, Liberatore has a shot of starting in St. Louis if he proves himself capable this spring. That’s the spot Cardinals fans are eager to see him reach.

    Like with his visualization practices before outings, Liberatore blocks out negative thoughts about pressure when contemplating his future.

    “I don’t feel that pressure, whatsoever,” Liberatore said. “This is a long game [approach]. My time is coming, and I trust my preparation.” (J Denton - MLB.com - March 7, 2022)

  • March 2022: Liberatore was named the Cardinals' 2021 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. (J Denton - MLB.com - March 16, 2022) 

  • Feb 3, 2023: We already know our No. 7 left-handed pitching prospect can pitch in the Majors because he did it over 34 2/3 innings last year for the Cards. What he can be in The Show is still up for debate. Headlined by a plus curveball, he has the four-pitch mix to latch onto a rotation, but fastball velocity around 92-94 mph calls into question whether he can be more than a No. 4 starter. The 23-year-old touched 97.7 mph in the Majors last year, so getting there more consistently would go a long way. (Callis, Mayo & Dykstra - MLB.com - Feb 3, 2023)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2018: The Rays chose Liberatore with their #1 pick (#16 overall), out of Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, AZ. And Matthew signed for $3.5 million, via scout David Hamblett. 
  • Jan. 9, 2020: The Cardinals and Rays have agreed to a trade that will send outfielders José Martínez and Randy Arozarena, plus a Competitive Balance Round A Draft pick, to Tampa Bay in exchange for left-hander Matthew Liberatore (the Rays’ fourth-ranked prospect), catching prospect Edgardo Rodriguez, and a Competitive Balance Round B Draft pick.
Pitching
  • Liberatore is an outstanding lefthander with a strong, lean frame. He has a 91-97 mph FASTBALL from a tall downhill plane, and it gets carry at the top of the zone with good running life at any velocity to remain an effective 50 grade pitch. He also gets tight rotation with late depth on his sharp-breaking 73-77 mph 1-to-7 wipeout, hammer CURVBALL, which is his out pitch with a 60 grade.

    He has good bite on an 81-83 mph SLIDER with a 55 grade. He also has a very good, diving CHANGEUP that has excellent deception, overwhelming hitters at times. It has a 50 grade. He will throw it in any count, with conviction! He has 50 grade Control.

  • Matthew is a tall lefthander with an athletic, slender build that should hold up to the rigors of starting. He has a simple and smooth operation, with some length to his arm action as he delivers the ball from a high three-quarters slot. He throws five different pitches, including two variations of his fastball. His four-seamer sits 93-95 mph with ride and cut. His two-seamer doesn’t sink but has less ride than his fastball, with a heavy amount of late, arm-side run.

    Liberatore's high-spin, mid-70s curveball is a 1-to-7 bender with over 16 inches of drop and a foot of horizontal break and is his best whiff-inducing option. His gyro slider sits 85-86 mph and gives Liberatore a chase pitch versus lefthanded hitters. His changeup is a mid-to-high-80s offering that mimics his two-seam shape, performing at a fringe-average level. Liberatore displays average control of his pitch mix but battles his command at times. (Chris Hilburn-Trenkle - BA Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2023)

     

  • Despite his size at 6-foot-4, Liberatore hasn’t developed stellar velocity as he’s gotten closer to a full-time role in the bigs. His four-seamer averaged 93.7 mph in the Majors and his sinker 92.8, putting him right around average, but he did touch 97.7 mph at his peak, showing there is something in the tank. A mid-70s curveball has become his true plus pitch with real bite and swing-and-miss potential against batters from either side. He used his hard mid-80s slider and mid-80s changeup in almost equal measure, though the latter was reserved most exclusively for righties.

    Generally a good strike-thrower, Liberatore saw his control back up against the advanced competition of The Show, but he still projects to be average in the category. It’s how he pitches in the zone that could next be a focus. His diverse pitch mix should always give him a chance to start, and either a slight improvement in overall stuff or command is all that’s standing between him and a more regular place in the back end of the St. Louis rotation. (Spring 2023)

     

  • Matthew's command of multiple pitches, sharp breaking ball and sturdy delivery from the left side has helped the Cardinals’ maintain elevated expectations of Liberatore as a top prospect.

    The lefty entered the offseason looking for what he called “sandpaper adjustments,” polishing and sharpening with an eye on asserting the consistency that faltered inning to inning in the majors. He also sought to add weight and stacked at least 15 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame to gain durability and perhaps velocity.

    The Cardinals want to see Liberatore command his fastball better so that he can control counts, limit the damage hitters did to that pitch (.364 average) and better use a sharp breaking ball.

    Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol settled on the word “conviction” to describe what Liberatore needed more of on the mound.

    The 6-foot-4 lefty began generating more velocity, more consistently with his delivery, engaging his legs for more drive. He also became more consistent and aggressive with his fastball, elevating it and landing it for strikes.

    That gave him a pitch at a vastly different velocity but at the same eye level of his dynamo curve, and suddenly he was unnerving hitters. When he unleashed the fastball with more determination it unlocked more of his game.

    “It allows both to play vertical, and if you notice what he’s doing it’s real, and it’s not the same,” Marmol said. “I feel like we’re seeing a different guy, and then he’s carried that same conviction and overall pitch quality. That’s been a positive, big step for him, and it’s one we’ve all been waiting for.”

    “I’m really not looking for other people to open a door for me to have those opportunities,” Liberatore said as spring neared. “I want to open that door for myself.” (Derrick Goold - Baseball America - March, 2023)

  • The southpaw thrives on pitch-ability to eat up innings. His fastball sits in the low-mid 90s in most outings. He used to be best known for his upper-70s, 12-to-6 curveball, but an upper-80s slider with good, late breaking action has arguably surpassed it among his breaking pitches. The Cardinals are pleased with how he can go with either depending on need and feel, and his low-80s change pairs well with the fastball to give right-handers another look.

    Liberatore walked only 6.3 percent of the Triple-A batters he faced, and that control should continue to be a strength. What he lacks in a true plus pitch, he makes up for in a diverse pitch mix. A mid-rotation projection is a comfortable one at this point. (Spring 2022)

  • Matthew has long been regarded as a polished, cerebral lefthander with mid-rotation upside. He has never had overly loud stuff, but a combination of four slightly above average, 55 grade pitches and strong command has allowed Liberatore to succeed at every level. (Chris Hilburn-Trenkle - BAPH - Spring 2022)

  • Liberatore has both stuff and pitch-ability, boasting a four-pitch mix that includes three future above-average-or-better pitches. It's easy to envision Liberatore adding a few more ticks to his heater as he fills out his 6-foot-4 frame. His best secondary pitch is a plus curveball that he throws with 12-to-6, downer action. A changeup that plays nicely off his heater gives Liberatore an above-average third pitch, and he has made progress developing a slider after adding the pitch to his arsenal in 2019.

    Tall and athletic, Liberatore does an excellent job repeating his delivery and arm action to throw consistent strikes. He will need time to develop physically and hone his craft in the Minors, but the final product could be that of a front-of-the-rotation starter who could still provide considerable floor value even if he’s unable to reach his ceiling. (Spring 2021)

  • Matthew is one of the most promising young lefties in the game. He has front-of-the-rotation potential but is many years from that ceiling. Liberatore ties his arsenal together with advanced command and control for a tall, young lefty. He repeats the delivery well with a clean arm action and should be at least an above-average strike-thrower without issue. (J.J. Cooper - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2021)

  • Liberatore earns high marks from evaluators both for his stuff and his overall pitch-ability. The lefty's four-pitch mix is headlined by three future above-average-or-better pitches, the best being his plus curveball that he throws with three-quarters tilt and sharp, downward bite. He sets up his upper-70s curve with a fastball that is easy to envision Liberatore adding a few more ticks as he fills out.

    His changeup plays nicely off his heater and projects as at least above average, and he showed the makings of an average slider after adding the pitch to his arsenal during the spring. Liberatore is more control over command right now, especially with regards to his fastball, but his clean delivery and overall athleticism point to future gains on both fronts.

    Liberatore is more advanced and comes with less risk than the typical high school pitcher, but he'll still need time to develop physically and hone his craft. While his overall profile is that of a potential mid-rotation starter, Liberatore's high floor alone gives him a high probability of contributing in the Major Leagues. (Spring 2020)

     

  • Liberatore has a trio of present above-average pitches -- and one about average, but he is drawing as much praise for his poise as he is for his advanced offerings. He is a very polished lefty.

    His 6-foot-5 frame and movement from the left side make it difficult for hitters to stay on top of him. He needs to improve his fastball command as he matures.

    Many evaluators view Liberatore as a potential mid-rotation starter with a chance to be better than that if he sharpens his command.

    “For being 19 years old, that’s pretty polished,” one scout said late in the 2019 season. “He can pitch, he’s got feel and three offerings I really liked with a chance for four.” (Emily Waldon - Baseball America - Nov., 2019)

  • Matthew pitches to both sides of the plate and is not afraid to throw inside to righthanded hitters. He has a feel for pitching and a deep understanding of the game. He has pitch-ability.

  • Liberatore's repeatable delivery and clean, free arm action draw some similarities to another Under Armour All-American when he was that age – Brady Aiken. Matt has a smooth, clean arm action and a fairly loose, quick arm. He gets good extension. But Matthew doesn't always repeat his arm action.

  • 2019 Season:  Mathew is St. Louis’ third-ranked prospect, and he is listed 58th on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100. Liberatore owns three pitches that scouts feel could eventually become plus Major League offerings, including a mid-90s fastball, swing-and-miss hammer curve and a diving changeup. The southpaw compiled a 3.10 ERA across 16 appearances (15 starts) with Class A Bowling Green in 2019.

  • 2019 Improvements: The six-foot-five lefty already has an advantage as a left-handed pitcher but has also continued to add pitches to his repertoire, making him more versatile. In 2019, Liberatore added a slider to his pitch options.

  • 2020 Season:  Top pitching prospect: Matthew Liberatore, LHP (No. 3/MLB No. 52)


    The Cardinals had hoped to get Liberatore in the 2018 Draft before the Rays selected the highly regarded prep left-hander with the No. 16 overall pick, three spots before St. Louis made its first pick. So it wasn’t a total surprise that the club jumped at the chance to get Liberatore last offseason, acquiring him and catching prospect Edgardo Rodriguez for José Martínez and Randy Arozarena.

    A non-roster invitee to big league camp this past spring after posting a 3.10 ERA over 78 1/3 innings at Class A Bowing Green in ’19, Liberatore pitched to mixed results but still opened plenty of eyes across his new organization, showing an uptick in fastball velocity to go along with his usual plus curveball. The 20-year-old southpaw continued to make strides over the summer at the Cardinals’ alternate site -- so much so that club officials pegged him as the most improved and exciting player in camp.

    “Matt really took advantage of the instructional time and spent a lot of time with the analytics staff,” said LaRocque. “He applied it, worked at it and just had a very positive two-plus months of instruction. Our staff did a great job with his development, and we’re very pleased with the progress he made.

    “It was a very productive stretch for him. I couldn’t emphasize that more,” he continued, “and in Matt’s case, with the younger players behind him that were also there, they all feed on it together. They see how he goes about his work and then they start to apply it.” (M Rosenbaum - MLB.com - Oct 15, 2020)

  • 2021 Best Curve in Top Prospects - Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Cardinals (60)

    Liberatore's feel for pitching made him the top prep mound prospect in the 2018 Draft, and a big part of his appeal was his feel for spin that continues to impress. He generates quality depth on his upper-70s curveball, showing the ability to land it for strikes or entice hitters to chase it out of the zone. He also has the moxie to throw his bender in any count.

  • 2021 Season: Memphis (22 appearances, 18 starts)

    While some of the shine wore off Liberatore in 2021, he still figures prominently in the Cardinals' future plans. Just 22 years old, the southpaw endured a poor May and a horrific July that skewed his otherwise solid numbers in his first crack at Triple-A. Overall, Liberatore compiled a 4.04 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP while leading the organization with 123 strikeouts in 124 2/3 innings.  ( Michael Avallone - Jan. 3, 2022)

  • 2022 Season: Stats (AAA):

    22 GS, 115 IP, 23.4 K%, 8.3 BB%, 36.4 GB%, 5.17 ERA, 4.63 FIP, 4.27 xFIP

    Scouting: 40/45 Fastball, 50/55 Slider, 60/60 Curveball, 45/55 Change, 55/70 Command

    I’m oversimplifying, but Liberatore has somewhat become a stats versus scouting guy. That’s not exactly right as there are people on this very website who use scouting to defend Liberatore in the comments, but Liberatore’s best argument for being high on this list is in the projections, frankly.

    He has really good projections. ZiPS projects him as a 2 WAR starter in 26 starts, which basically means they already see him as an above average starter. You may not completely buy into that, but it’s not coming from nowhere. And that’s hard to ignore.  (stlcardsfan4  Feb 16, 2023)

  • 2023 Season:

    Stats: 3-6, 22 G, 61.2 IP, 66 H, 5 HR, 25 BB, 46 K, 5.25 ERA, 4.28 FIP, 1.476 WHIP, -0.3 bWAR

    Statcast: 8.5% barrel, 35.7% sweet spot, 113.2 max exit velocity, .341 wOBA, .369 xwOBA, 16.7% K, 9.1% BB

    Every writeup of Liberatore is somehow obligated to mention Randy Arozarena, so let’s get that out of the way.  Even without the emergence of the outfielder, Liberatore’s story would be slightly disappointing by now.  A top pitching prospect when acquired from the Rays in the winter of 2019, he has two partial seasons in the big leagues to show for his work so far and neither of them have been overwhelming to say the least.

    That said, Liberatore is only 24 and he has two partial seasons in the big leagues.  There should still be a lot of optimism and hope for what he could become.  You see that game against the Rays, eight scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, and you dream on him doing that on a more regular basis.  Then he gives up five in 4.1 his next start and, while maybe it was mitigated by injury given that he went on the IL six days later, it’s still enough to bring you down from those clouds and wonder just what the club has here.

    They seem to be wondering it as well.  When he returned from injury in September, he moved into the bullpen to be a semi-long man.  It was pretty effective–11.2 innings, 11 K, 4 BB, 1.54 ERA/3.51 FIP–enough so that the club seems to be planning for him to stay in that role for 2024.  If you can get anything that helps the team, you take it of course, but it feels … small compared to the heights we often have placed on him.  

    If the Cardinals do go out and get the three starters that they say they are getting, though, there’s not going to be a real good path for him to make it to the major league rotation. (Cardinal70 - NOV 17, 2023)

Career Injury Report
  • August, 2019: Back spasms put Liberatore on the IL for a short spell.

  • Aug 19-Sept 4, 2023: Mathew was on the IL with lower back tightness.