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Mathieson Focused Despite Being Sent Down

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, March 27, 2011 07:00 AM | Comments: 10
Grapefruiting, IronPigs, Minor Leagues, News, Posts

CLEARWATER, FL- Somehow, despite the recent news that Brad Lidge is set to begin the season on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury, the Phillies didn’t see fit to keep fire-balling righty hurler Scott Mathieson around.

Mathieson, who has had a long road back to the big leagues following three elbow procedures (two of which were Tommy John surgeries), appeared in 7 games with the Phillies in spring training this year, posting a 2.00 ERA with 9 strike outs and 6 walks over 9 innings.

The Vancouver, British Columbia native made his Major League debut with the Phils in 2006 as a starter, going 1-4 with a 7.47 ERA, but had his career sidetracked due to arm trouble.

This spring, Mathieson was back where he wanted to be and felt that he was primed to return to a regular gig in the big leagues. However, on Saturday, the Phillies sent Mathieson back down to minor league camp.

Mathieson’s goal throughout his recovery has been to get back into the Phillies’ red pinstripes on a permanent basis and while he is displeased with the assignment to rock Lehigh Valley IronPig duds instead, his focus isn’t harmed one bit.

“I wasn’t too happy about it,” Mathieson said in an exclusive interview. “It’s definitely disappointing. I was out to make the team. I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do and it’s quite frustrating. Aside from the one game where I walked three guys, I felt like I had a pretty good spring, especially while introducing a new pitch (his new split-finger). I felt like I threw pretty well. It’s disappointing. It’s not where I want to be, but hopefully, it’ll help me in the long run so I can get back to the Majors.

“The Phillies are a great team and there’s a great group of guys and I’d love to be a part of the team. I’d rather be a Major League pitcher. At this point, hopefully, that’ll happen in the near future and hopefully it’s with the Phillies.”

The 27-year-old Mathieson was told by organization coaches that he probably would not be the closer for Lehigh, a role that he filled last season when he saved 26 games and struck out 83 batters in 64 1/3 innings¬†with the Triple A IronPigs. Coaches expressed to Mathieson that they wish to stretch him out. He was informed on Saturday that he’d be used as a multiple inning reliever and perhaps share some duties, at times, in the 9th inning. This could mean that Mathieson, whose fastball is regularly clocked in the high 90′s, is destined to slide into the Phillies’ 6th/7th inning role that was once occupied by Chad Durbin.

In his first day back in the minors on Saturday, Mathieson couldn’t even join his Triple A teammates, as they had already hit the road for an away game. Mathieson instead pitched with the High A Clearwater club, because they were at home. In that game, he threw 2 innings, struck out 3 batters and did not allow a hit.

The Phillies are now left with 7 healthy relievers (Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, Danys Baez, JC Romero, Kyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo, David Herndon) officially in big league camp, but continue to claim that nothing is set in stone in regards to the opening day roster.

Mathieson’s close pal Mike Zagurski, another former Tommy John surgery patient, also received news that he was being sent to minor league camp on Saturday morning. Zagurski, a lefty, posted a 1.08 ERA in 8 games with 12 strike outs and 1 walk allowed over 8 1/3 innings.

Mathieson sounded additionally upset for his friend. “I feel real bad for him. He had a hell of a spring. He was pretty dominant all throughout spring training. We’re in kind of the same boat. Hopefully, he shows something where he’ll be one of the first guys to get called up, with me as well.”

___________________________________________________________

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider.¬† You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

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About Jay Floyd

Jay Floyd has written 654 articles on Phillies Nation.

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation's minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 5190 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Mathieson has a right to be upset, I know I am. You can’t tell me that at least one of them didn’t deserve to make the big league club this spring over the 4 guys they appear to be keeping. (I’m not including Madson, Contreras, and Romero) And if you boil it down further, we have to have another lefty, (assuming Bastardo) so it’s really a matter of;

    Did at least one of them pitch better than Kendrick, – yes, Herndon- yes, or Baez- yes. I definitely would have kept Mathieson at least until Lidge gets back, and maybe longer if he outperformed one of the others. (high possibility)

    We have to decide that it’s about winning and developing, and not worry about losing a couple million on a bad contract or two. Cancel one Dollar dog night promo if you have to, and cut Baez, Kendrick or Herndon loose.

     
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Hopefully Cholly will have a short rope while dealing with the likes of Herndon, Baez, Contreras, Kendrick. Lord knows that Mathiason and even Zags have shown something good this spring.

     
  • Avatar of Dropped Strike Three

    It pays to have photos of Ruben Amaro in a compromising position… just ask David Herndon.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    If not now, then when?

     
  • Posts: 220 The Dipsy

    Avatar of The Dipsy

    For some reason they just do not like this guy. Perhaps they wanna strat him out in triple AAA to get him regular closing work so when Lidge doesn’t pan out, they can move Mathieson into the 7th or 8th inning slot. Oh, what the hell. Who knows why he got sent down? I sure don’t.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Here is an interesting stat that I did not know – Chipper has not played in over 140 games since 2003. He last hit 30 hrs (exactly 30) in 04.
    Soo, perhaps I am overvaluing the Chip? No doubt, a younger Chip, along with McCann, Heyward & Uggyl-a (I’m leaving Freeman out of this equation so far) appears to be a threat.
    But, I have been told before that I worry too much…

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Sounds like the aren’t 100% sure about his secondary stuff, although it has improved. And on top of that, it’s a numbers game. They went with Herndon over him, which is a legit move – the kid has tools. So he’s very, very close, but having Baez involved makes it hard.
    They didn’t want to cut the ties with him just yet because of the contract, so again Mathieson has to wait it out. I do think we will see him for a long period this season. Kendrick hasn’t looked great and will be on a short leash, as will Baez of course. And if Bastardo struggles as the other lefty, he could be sent down in favor of Mathieson. It’s a long season.

     
  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    I may be wrong but I think Mathieson has only one option left.. so maybe theyre just waiting for him to be REALLY good before moving him up for good.

     
  • [...] Jay Floyd of Phillies Nation discusses the strange situation Scott Mathieson finds himself in. Not only did was he reassigned [...]

     
 
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