Tyler Matzek Update: Rockies SP Back in Camp
According to an ESPN report, Tyler Matzek is back in Rockies Spring Camp after seeking help for issues that affect him physically and mentally.
The troubled pitcher was aiming to rebound from performance anxiety before Spring games began, but got lit up in his first time out. In Spring’s opening game, Matzek allowed three hits, three earned runs and a home run without recording an out. Following the performance, Matzek was scheduled to pitch again but was scratched and then ultimately left the team to seek therapy.
It appears the Rockies are searching for answers on how to handle Matzek’s mental issues, and the front office seems determined to find a way to solve the mystery. Dr. Rick Perea was brought onto be the Rockies’ so called “mental skills” coach. When he was dismissed from Spring Training, Tyler reportedly spent the last few weeks with Perea focusing on meditation, positive imagery, and relaxation, among other things. Regardless of any trials and tribulations, its obvious that the front office and teammates have been extremely supportive of Matzek, surprisingly so according to him. That support is one of the reasons why Matzek wanted to rejoin his teammates in Arizona before Spring Training ended.
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Ever since Matzek was removed from the big league squad early last season, Rockies fans have been left to ponder the uncertainty. When a physical injury occurs, we at least have an educated guess as to when a player can return to game action. When it comes to mental illness however, we really have no idea when, or even if, a player can recover; and frankly, Matzek’s time is running out. The Rockies and Matzek have spent almost a full calendar year now on addressing his anxiety, if a cure doesn’t come soon, and what point do we need accept that there isn’t one?
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Many players suffer from mental setbacks and anxiety, Zach Grienke being a notable and successful example of overcoming such an obstacle. But for every Grienke story, you can find many examples of players who couldn’t recover. A guy by the name Khalil Green comes to mind, and Dontrelle Willis is another. Only time will tell if Matzek will fit the Grienke narrative, or the Green/Willis narrative. One thing is for sure, the Rockies are doing everything the right way in helping Matzek. We all hope that faith in Tyler Matzek will pay off.