When I went to make the Christmas card with the photos of the new guys, I did a Google search for Mat Latos and that was basically my first impression of the guy. I’ve been pretty swamped with an MBA program for Latos’ whole career, so I wasn’t exactly in the know.
“This Latos guy looks like he thinks a lot of himself,” is what I said to the Crack Technical Staff. See for yourself…this fella oozes cockiness. A little bit of research backed up my impression. Latos’ Wikipedia article says that he would have been a first-round draft pick if not for his attitude in high school, and this article from ESPN last years talks about how Latos has, fairly or otherwise, a bit of a reputation for being disruptive.
Which got me thinking about the rest of the rotation and how this Latos character is going to fit in. Bronson Arroyo surely has an attitude, but he doesn’t care what anyone thinks and he doesn’t lash out at others. I don’t have a good read on Johnny Cueto or Aroldis Chapman, but Mike Leake seems like kind of a laid back surfer dude. Homer Bailey may be the closest match, and comparing their stats shows a lot of similarity in their first year in the majors. Unfortunately, Bailey hasn’t really backed up his early attitude with the performance like Latos has.
I’m not sure. I hope that the change of scenery and the easy-going personality of the pitching staff as a whole will be a good mix. I also suspect, though, that even if Latos has grown up some, he’s still going to be pretty intense. If he goes off on Rolen for booting a ball, he might find the whole infield beating down on him. Which could be interesting to watch, too.