Mathieson's comeback; top names shelved

Updated: October 26, 2009, 2:19 PM ET
By Jason Grey
During the 2005 season of the Arizona Fall League, two pitchers really started to turn heads and make scouts take notice. One was the Tampa Bay Rays' James Shields.

The other was the Philadelphia Phillies' Scott Mathieson.

Drafted out of Canada in the 17th round in 2002, the right-handed Mathieson was seen as a projectable pitcher due to his 6-foot-3 frame and solid mechanics, despite a fastball that topped out in the mid-80s. Two years later, Mathieson was throwing in the mid-90s. In 2005, he scrapped a curveball for a power slider midway through the season, and it quickly became an out pitch by the time the AFL rolled around. He turned his AFL performance into eight starts at the big league level the next year at age 22, and was seen as a future middle-of-the-rotation starter.

But he wasn't 100 percent.

"In September of 2006, I blew out my elbow," Mathieson said. "Since then, it's been a nightmare."