Getting to Know: Matt Andriese
At this time last year, Matt Andriese was probably not a well-known individual in Rays spring training. However, because of his performance and injuries to several Rays pitchers, Andriese was a surprise addition to the team’s Opening Day roster and he took advantage of the opportunity. Before the season was over Andriese ended up appearing in 25 games over five stints in Tampa Bay, earning three wins and two saves. That experience in 2015 gives Andriese a level of confidence going into 2016.
And that confidence has resonated with the Rays staff. Manager Kevin Cash said earlier in the week that Andriese’s bullpens have been crisp and sharp, and that he has the look and confidence of a big leaguer.
Former Manager Joe Maddon used to say that MLB players go through five stages, 1) happy to be here 2) survival 3) believe you belong 4) worried about making the most money and 5) it’s all about winning. Andriese seems to have reached Stage 3.
For Andriese, the goal now is stick at the MLB level. Andriese worked hard this off season on getting his 6–3 215-pound frame stronger.
We discussed how the righty hopes to improve upon his 2015 season, and what he learned from his first MLB experience:
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Andriese is the third piece of a less-heralded trade that certainly has paid major dividends for the Rays. Andriese came to Tampa Bay on January 22nd, 2014, along with Logan Forsythe and Brad Boxberger, in a deal with San Diego involving Jesse Hahn and Alex Torres. The deal has resulted in the Rays receiving an ever-day second baseman, a back-end reliever, as well as Andriese, who appears to have a bright MLB pitcher.
He’s now one of three players at his high school (Redlands East Valley HS in Calfiornia) to have his jersey retired, joining Tyler Chatwood, and the late Tommy Hanson.
It’s expected Andriese will be stretched out as a starter in Spring Training. Andriese worked 130 innings last year, but a career high 173 during the 2014 season.