The struggles of Colorado Rockies' 2009 first round selection Tyler Matzek have been well documented. Originally drafted out of high school, lefty Matzek was projected as a high-riser. Armed with a well above average curveball and mid 90s fastball, he was a pitcher who should have easily scaled the minors ala Los Angeles Dodgers left handed ace Clayton Kershaw.
Instead, he has struggled mightily this year. After starting the season in Modesto, Matzek was then demoted to the Asheville Tourists to gain confidence. That experiment hasn't worked well either, as his three starts were disastrous.
"Stuff" isn't the answer; Matzek still has a great arsenal of pitches. But his command and confidence have left him. With the Rockies' front office running out of ideas, they've approved a very unique strategy to bring back the ace they thought they had drafted in 2009.
Inside The Rockies is reporting that the team has approved a two week leave for Matzek to visit his amateur pitching coach, in the hope that a familiar voice will help him regain his success and self-confidence. It's incredibly unorthodox (teams never like giving up control over young talent, especially to people outside the organization) but it also shows the need to get this top lefty on track. Colorado paid a bounty to sign Matzek, and they are apparently willing to do almost anything to get a return on their investment.
Matzek is only 20 years old, so there's still plenty of time for him to reach the major leagues. It appears that both parties have finally agreed on a compromise that may work. For the Rockies' sake, they are giving up quite a bit of control to ensure they get their once and future ace back and pitching well.