An undrafted rookie from Bucknell, Matt Daley didn't take long to burrow his way into the hearts of Rockies fans. Without elite stuff or a textbook pitcher's body, the submarine relief pitcher surprised with 51.0 solid innings and a 4.24 ERA in 2009.
Yet Daley is hardly a blip on the radar of discussions anymore, barely a year after he was trusted in late innings. Why? It is not because his ERA regressed heavily in 2010. In fact, it was.....4.24. The same. He threw seven scoreless innings to start the year and held his ERA below 2.00 until mid-May, when Randy Flores inherited three baserunners from Daley and allowed all three to score. That represented three of the 11 men to score off Daley in 2010. Matt Daley did not pitch poorly at all last season
The bigger issue came in mid-June, when shoulder inflammation in his pitching shoulder landed him on the disabled list. He made only two appearances after returning in September, allowing two runs in 1.2 IP. The reliever will be going to the Dominican to prep for Spring Training, and Troy Renck reports that Daley's shoulder "feels great."
That would be one reason why he isn't getting much digital ink in these parts. Shoulder injuries for pitchers can linger. Another is that despite identical ERAs, he was indeed less effective in 2010 than in 2009, as his strikeout rate plummeted from 9.71 per 9 to 6.94 per 9, his walk rate rose, and hitters batted .291 in 2010 vs .230 in 2009. The scouting report may have gotten out on the New Yorker with his quirky delivery.
|2010 - Matt Daley||0-1||28||0||0||0||0||0||23.1||27||11||11||2||10||18||4.24||1.59|
On past Rockies teams, Daley would be a candidate for a set-up role. With the depth Dan O'Dowd has built in the bullpen, the 28-year-old instead has an uphill climb to reclaim his post in the big league pen. He is cheap, has all three options and is under team control until at least 2015, so the Rockies can afford to stash him in AAA with a fairly set bullpen.