MacPhail says Matusz injury could alter Britton to minors decision
The big question with Brian Matusz’s injury – to the intercostal muscle in the left middle part of his back -- is whether it could change the club’s stance on lefty Zach Britton, who was sent to Triple-A Norfolk to start the season despite having the best spring of any Orioles’ starter.
The simple answer is yes, it could.
“It could depending on what kind of news we get (on Matusz) and how long term we’re looking,” Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said.
The Orioles were expected to keep Britton, 23, down in the minors for at least 20 days, which would stop his big-league service clock from registering a full season in 2011 – meaning he wouldn’t be eligible for free agency until 2017 (instead of 2016).
But with Matusz, the club’s No. 2 starter potentially heading to the disabled list, the Orioles could be forced to bring up Britton.
The Orioles will know more after a MRI today on Matusz, who, according to manager Buck Showalter, was in acute pain today after playing catch.
“I was hoping it was an April Fool’s joke,” MacPhail said about Matusz’s injury. “It’s just one of those things. You get these throughout the course of the year. You just have to deal with them as best as you can.”