Matzek excused to deal with personal issues

Left-hander diagnosed with performance anxiety last summer

Matzek excused to deal with personal issues

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek, who has spent the better part of a year battling performance anxiety, was temporarily excused from Spring Training on Sunday, manager Walt Weiss said Monday morning.

"We're giving him a breather to take care of some personal things," Weiss said. "I don't think it's going to be all that long."

Matzek, 25, didn't retire any of the five batters he faced and gave up three hits, two walks and three runs in his lone Cactus League appearance, against the D-backs in the March 2 opener. Shortly thereafter, Matzek was scratched from a scheduled "B" game appearance, and he has not appeared on the pitching schedule since.

On the strength of a strong 2014 finish, Matzek, the Rockies' top pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, began last season in the starting rotation. He began 2-1 with a 4.09 ERA, and he posted 19 walks and three hit batters in 22 innings before being sent to the Minors. Matzek never returned to the Majors, and he tried methods such as working on fundamentals but not pitching in games, as well as even taking a break from the game. During the summer, Matzek was diagnosed with performance anxiety.

Weiss said the Rockies still believe Matzek will contribute.

"That's the plan -- it's how we look at it with everybody," Weiss said. "We've got to look at whatever the issues are and attack them. It's no different with Tyler."

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.