Tyler Matzek allowed six runs in a third of an inning on Wednesday, sending the Short Season-A Boise Hawks to an 8-3 loss at Eugene.
Matzek, making his third rehab appearance after being out of action for a month to work on his mechanics and mental approach to the game, had the wheels completely fall off. He did not allow a hit but walked five batters, hit another and missed wildly on several pitches. The walks are particularly concerning given the poor plate discipline usually seen from Northwest League hitters; no other batter in the game drew a single free pass aside from the five issued by Matzek.
In just 3⅓ minor league innings this season, Matzek has walked an astounding 15 batters and owns a 35.10 ERA. After an unbelievably promising rookie campaign in which Matzek was arguably the Rockies' best pitcher, the 2009 first-round draft pick looks completely lost on the mound.
The Hawks got a strong start from Javier Palacios, who allowed two runs on six hits in 5⅓ innings. He struck out four. Offensively for Boise, Yonathan Daza doubled and scored a run. Kevin Padlo added a single and an RBI. He's showing signs of life at the plate, hitting .261 for the Hawks after struggling badly to start the year in Asheville.
Triple-A Albuquerque: L 7-6 (31-42)
Tim Wheeler, Matt McBride and Abel Baker had two hits apiece. John Lannan allowed four earned runs in six innings.
Double-A New Britain: L 9-2 (40-32)
Michael Tauchman had three hits and Will Swanner added a solo home run. Tyler Ybarra struck out two batters and worked around two hits in a scoreless eighth.
Top prospects Trevor Story and Tom Murphy combined to go 0-for-8 with a couple of strikeouts.
Rookie Grand Junction: W 10-9 (5-2)
The stacked rookie Rockies are off to a hot start despite most of their top picks not suiting up yet. In the bottom of the 13th inning, Chris Keck singled in the tying run, setting up Elvin Paulino's walk-off double to plate Mylz Jones. Paulino finished 3-for-7 with a pair of doubles.
Ryan Stephens led GJ's offense, going 4-for-6 with a homer, a walk, two RBI and four runs scored. Stephens, though a bit old for the league, owns a ridiculous early season line of .500/.542/1.091 through 24 plate appearances.
Juan Pena did the best mound work of any GJ pitcher, striking out four batters in three innings of one-run ball. Pena, just 19, has eight strikeouts in seven innings of relief thus far.
Rookie DSL Rockies: L 12-1 (10-12)
Alejandro Requena tallied eight strikeouts but allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings. Ramon Marcelino and Anderson Jimenez doubled in the blowout loss.