Matzek demoted from Modesto to Asheville
A very difficult 10-start stay at high Class A Modesto for left-hander, marked by an average of 12.5 walks per nine innings, ended when the Colorado Rockies demoted him to low Class A Asheville, where he began his professional career last year.
Matzek, 20, signed too late to play in 2009 after being taken 11th overall in the draft and receiving a franchise-record $3.9 million. The Rockies moved Matzek up to Modesto this year, a promotion that some involved with the decision opposed, because his fastball command was so inconsistent at Asheville.
That problem continued at Modesto where Matzek was facing better hitters with more strike-zone discipline and less inclination to flail at pitches out of the strike zone. Matzek’s results at Modesto were jarring and, worse, weren’t getting better.
He went 0-3 with a 9.82 ERA at Modesto in 10 starts where pitch counts repeatedly did him in and limited Matzek to just 33 innings. He allowed 34 hits with 46 walks and 37 strikeouts. Matzek leads the California League in walks by a wide margin. The two pitchers tied for second with 33 walks have worked 60 and 54 2/3 innings.
Matzek had a one-inning start May 5 against High Desert when he was pulled after throwing 49 pitches and allowing three hits, four walks and four runs with two strikeouts. His last start for Modesto on Friday was a wicked flashback _ at High Desert this time _ one inning and 49 pitches with three hits, five walks and five runs allowed with two strikeouts.
Matzek will try to regroup at Asheville where he made his professional debut on May 24, 2010, after beginning the year in extended spring training so the Rockies could limit his innings. In a start that to some degree would foreshadow his season, Matzek gave up one hit in five scoreless innings with four walks and five strikeouts.
He made 18 starts for the Tourists and went 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA. Matzek worked 89 1/3 innings and gave up just 62 hits with 88 strikeouts but walked 62. The Rockies drafted Matzek out of Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo, Calif., and signed him minutes before the midnight deadline on Aug. 16 last year. Matzek had been recruited by the University of Oregon.