Frank Mata, relief pitcher
Where did he come from? Where is he going?
Frank Mata is a Venezuelan pitcher out of the Twins organization, with a build similar to Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Silva. Other than 34 innings in the Florida State League, he was at best mediocre. For some reason, the Orioles signed him as a minor-league free agent and assigned him to Norfolk. When Norfolk needed a closer, for some reason the Tides gave him the job and he pitched well enough to be called up to Baltimore. I’ve riffed on his tenure with the Orioles in a previous blog entry.
From a different perspective, Frank Mata is proof that the Orioles organization doesn’t know what it’s doing. He’s done nothing to demonstrate that he’s a quality major-league pitcher; he pitches well in two months in the best pitchers’ park in AAA; and they immediately promote him to the big leagues. To echo Bill James, the Orioles promoted Mata to the big leagues when he was pitching well, hoping to get something out of him before he stopped. The “lightning-in-a-bottle” approach to building a pitching staff is a hallmark of a clueless organization.
As to where he’s going, I haven’t a clue, especially since he became a minor-league free agent again. I don’t expect him to be going to a major-league team.