Rockies’ Matzek back after treatment for performance anxiety

Associated Press
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Colorado Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek has returned to spring training after spending two weeks taking brain tests and undergoing coaching for performance anxiety.

Matzek started the Rockies’ home opener last year but ended up in the low minors due to control and confidence issues. He failed to get anybody out in his first spring appearance on March 2, was scratched from his next start and then left camp on March 14.

Matzek spent the past two weeks in Denver with the Rockies’ new mental skills coach, former NFL linebacker and psychologist Dr. Rick Perea. Matzek said Thursday he took neurotherapy tests twice a day for two weeks while being coached about handling brain wave imbalances.

Matzek is uncertain when he’ll throw next. He’ll likely begin the season in the minors.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.