Skip to main content

Mathieson Still Focused Despite Being Sent Down

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."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 9

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Tug and I discuss how it's Tyler Cloyd's time to join the Phillies' rotation, Double-A and Triple-A All-Stars, Cody Asche's & Harold Martinez's ascent upward in the developmental ranks and Jay's time at Fenway Park. We also took listeners questions, played the Twitter Game and plenty more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full show, or download it by clicking HERE . Additionally, click HERE to listen to previous episodes of the program. You can also subscribe on iTunes .

Rappers in Phillies Caps

Weekend greetings to you phine pholks out there. Today's post features pictures of rappers wearing Phillies caps. Why rappers in Phillies caps, you ask? Because... Any other questions? We will start things off properly by going with a highly recognizable hip hop star. 50 Cent stays constantly relavant by consistantly creating radio friendly material to help sell (G) units, while he "keeps it real" by still rapping about the thug life he lived before becoming the 2nd highest earning black entertainer in America. 50 is seen here in a recent interview rocking a throw-back Phillies cap. Next up we'll use a throw-back screen cap from what may be the very first major appearance by a rapper wearing Phillies gear. Chuck D, of legendary rap group Public Enemy, wore a Phillies cap in the music video for rap anthem Fight The Power in 1989. The song was the lead single from the soundtrack for Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing . Next up we'll go with some home gro

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol