Matzek scratched after struggling in debut

Rockies, lefty to develop plan for improving mechanical issues

Matzek scratched after struggling in debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek, who gave up three runs on three hits and two walks without retiring a batter Wednesday against the D-backs in his '16 Cactus League debut, was scratched from a B game appearance Sunday morning. Matzek said he and coaches are discussing a plan.

"They just wanted to hold off on the start, talk about some things and go from there," Matzek said.

Rockies Spring Training info

Pitching coach Steve Foster said the Rockies have not scheduled Matzek's next appearance.

Matzek's 2015 was marred by wildness that stemmed from what was diagnosed as performance anxiety. He was 2-1 with a 4.09 ERA but had 19 walks and three hit batters in 22 innings when he was sent to the Minors. He didn't return to the Majors, and took time off during the year while addressing the anxiety.

Matzek went 6-11, 4.05 in 20 games (19 starts) in 2014, finishing the year 4-3 with a 1.91 ERA in his final seven starts.

On Wednesday, D-backs catcher Welington Castillo, the first batter Matzek faced, took a reaching swing on a slider and hit the ball to center for a home run. The performance never improved. Matzek threw strikes on just 11 of his 25 pitches, and had a wild pitch.

Bullpen sessions since then have gone "OK, not fantastic," Matzek said. 

What isn't clear is whether there is a mechanical fix for Matzek, but the Rockies have proof that mechanics can be corrected away from contests. Chad Bettis was held out of action for much of last spring, began the year at Triple-A Albuquerque and turned in a breakout season.

"That's what we're trying to figure all out -- it might be that, it might be something else," Matzek said. "Step back, assess the situation, make a plan, then get after it. Bettis is a great example of a plan laid out and executed well to have good results."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.