Mick Mattaliano, an undrafted free agent who recently signed with the Orioles, is now pitching in Aberdeen with the Short Season single-A Ironbirds in the New York-Penn League. A four year pitcher at Virginia Commonwealth University, Mattaliano had his most impressive season this year. He surrendered just 11 runs in 55.2 innings of work; good for a microscopic 1.78 ERA. Mick takes advantage of hitters by utilizing a side-arm delivery.
"Once I got to college, at VCU, I threw straight over the top, and I wasn't throwing very hard, so they said try this out," Mattaliano told Inside The Warhouse shortly after his spectacular debut, in which he pitched a perfect, 1-2-3 inning of relief. "The San Diego Padres' [side-arm pitcher] Clay Meredith was on my team that year. VCU had a good track record of side-arm guys, so they had me try it out, and, sure enough, it worked really well for me.
Mattaliano has been used often in his short professional career, which started on August 1st. In 3 appearances (3.2 IP), Mattaliano has a 0.00 ERA and 0.00 WHIP. This should not really come as a surprise from the undrafted reliever, as he went 13 consecutive appearances without surrendering a run for the VCU Rams earlier this spring, where he pitched very often.
"He's one of the types of guys that go everyday and pitch. He only takes 10 pitches in the bullpen to get ready and he can go out in the game and throw it with a lot of sink on it," Ironbirds' pitching coach Calvin Maduro added.
Mattaliano is the type of guy that wants the ball everyday, which is quite noticeable by the 55.2 innings of relief he pitched in his college season.
"He can go in every game and pitch if he wants to," said Maduro, "but, because of the rules with the Orioles, we can't."
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