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July 5, 2011

Matusz knocked around in return to Triple-A

Left-hander Brian Matusz’s struggles continued in his first start for Triple-A Norfolk since his June 30 demotion from the Orioles, Matusz allowed four earned runs on seven hits, including two homers, and two walks while striking out three over 5 2/3 innings in the Tides’ game tonight at Charlotte.

Matusz surrendered four extra-base hits, including homers by Jim Gallagher and Lastings Milledge, before he was relieved by Mark Hendrickson. He threw 51 of his 87 pitches for strikes.

The 24-year-old was 1-4 with an 8.77 ERA in six starts for the Orioles before being optioned to Triple-A. In 25 2/3 innings, he allowed 25 runs on 40 hits, including nine home runs, and 11 walks. Opposing hitters batted .357 against him.

Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 9:08 PM | | Comments (22)


Watched in person - threw puss all night. Threw between 84-86 mph all night and the only time he hit 91moh was his last pitch of the night, which landed 400 feet away. Time to shut him down until he's healthy, no matter what he says to the contrary.

Minor League hitters are aggressive and will swing at a lot of pitches that are taken for balls by major league hitters. It's not surprising that Matusz' lack of velocity and the fact that he was trying to get people out with junk off the plate that he would be exposed at AAA hitters. They are undisciplined and expecting more. Brian may have a tough time getting back unless he can find another 3 to 5 mph on his fastball.

Brain Matusz - what a shame!

Another wonderful first round draft selection - the Orioles didn't lsten to the baseball experts who had examine Matusz's collegiate pitching delivery and then questioned whether he would have a successful MLB pitching career. It now appears the Orioles management should have also been concerned about Matusz's career prospects before they wasted another valuable high first round draft selection.

What a shame - I feel sorry for both Brian Matusz and the long suffering Oriole fan base.

Matusz is done....baked. His young arm is shot. No location. Trade him and he'll become an ace. That's the way it works for the O's. Don't know why we watch baseball anyway as half the games are blown by the umps. Was watching the Red Sox and Jays. Jays should have scored the tying run in the top of the 9th but the ump called the runner out at home. He was safe by a mile. Wasn't even close. Replay shows it clearly but I could see it via TV camera from my couch. These umps are just awful. Chipper Jones is right. They are ruining the game. These old blind men are just horrid.

Brian Matusz, you are either hurt and a liar or you have lost it. Either way what a sad season and yet another humiliating kick in the crotch for a franchise that continues to consistently flame out every year.

what is johnson thinking? walking andrus to get to hamilton? what the hell is wrong with these guys.I'm telling you, this team just has a terminal case of The Stupids.
They just flat out choke. The relievers. The hitters. It's frightening how bad it is.

Will someone give Derek Lee his walking papers tonight? 80 games, seen enough.
Hit the road.He's worked his way from 3rd to 5th to 7th. There ain't anywhere else to go Derek...

Anyone saying he is done or that he is a bust is being ridiculous. Still a lot of time for this kid. O's definitely shouldnt give up on him, but I agree with Cory that he should be shut down and get his strength back. Wait for winter ball. Unfortunately it leaves the Majors pretty weak on pitching, but thats the way it gos. Get better and be ready for next year Matusz.

Jeff, Dan, and Co.

At what point do the O's seriously consider shutting down Brian for the rest of the year? His velocity, at this point (and for all of this year so far) has been laughable. Are there any plans to give him a serious look-over, medically?

Also, thanks for being polite and answering my question yesterday (earlier today) about Angelos and his lack of public speaking about the O's. You were very polite and the same cannot be said for a former colleague of yours who is now employed by MASN when I posed the question to him on his blog.

Jeff Z's reply: I've been given no indication that's in the cards, but I'm not going to lie: I've asked that question myself. He obviously talks with trainers and team officials regularly and I'd have to assume if they had one inkling that he was hurt, they would take him for a series of MRIs and tests.


The guy is headed for Tommy John surgery. No don't "lose" 10mph off your fastball at age 25.

What are the Orioles going to do when Matusz bobble head night comes around August 6th. He will probably set a major league record for the only player to get a bobble head and be pitching in the minors. What a disgrace!

Nope. That happens more than you realize. I don't think Nolan Reimold was in the majors for his bobblehead last year. Someone wasn't recently anyway.

Perhaps I'm uninformed but I was under the believe that Tommy John surgery was to replace elbow ligaments and that the injury Matsuz is 'dealing' with relates to his shoulder / back muscles.

The Orioles' abiilty to ruin pitching arms is becoming legendary stuff. Think about the rotation were it anchored by a healthy Adam Loewen, with a healthy Guthrie, Matusz, Arieitta, Britton following behind.

Remember, hitting has not been the problem this year. Pitching is what sank us.

Brian Matusz = Adam Loewen


You may be right as far as pitching is concerned, but right now Loewen is hitting .314 with 12 HR's, 31 doubles, 3 triples and 59 RBI's at AAA for the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays site last week said he may get a call up after the break.

Can Matusz hit? If he keeps pitching like he has, it might be worth a try.

Brian Matusz was once and can be again one of the best pitchers the O's have. I think he is hurting and needs time to rehab. He'll be back - to stay. He has the talent. Good Luck to him.

If Brian Matusz = Adam Loewen, then Chris Tillman = Hayden Penn.
Either way...great job Jordan, Stockskill and all our wonderful GM's that have TRIED to follow Pat Gillick.

Brian Matusz is a solid young man who clearly knows how to pitch. Once he is fully recovered from the physical and emotional trauma of the past few months, he will come back strong. Meanwhile, let's step back and not add to that trauma. Good luck, Brian! You've got a tremendous career ahead of you.

Anonymous: And just where would that "tremendous career" be?
Being a cubby pal of Billy Rowell in "A" ball for the next 5 years does not meet my definition of tremendous.

Im sure brian would not lie to us or the coaching staff he's only hurting himself and the team if he is and he is very talented I hope he can make it back to the way he was u brian haters!!!! oh and it takes time for young pitching to develop he has only been in the majors not even 2 yrs yet!!!!!!!

Regarding Matusz....
I think he is injured. He looks exhausted during his delivery, and physically weak.
I think a DL with upper body strength training may be the best thing.

Regarding Matusz, Barring injury, his only chance to get back to the BL level is a knuckle ball; its an effective pitch, does not stress the arm, very few have it, and pitchers last very long with it (Nickro brothers, Hoyt Wilhelm, Wood, Huff, Wakefield etc). Regarding the O's, I like the suggetion of an ESPN guy I sew in DC when he suggested re-tooliong the divisions so the rich teams are all in one division (Yanks, Red Sox, Mets ect) while the poor teams (O's, Blue Jays, Tampa, Nats) are in another. Its fair to the fans of small market cities who cant compete because they cant outspend the big clubs. Otherwise you loose fans, and I am really tired of loosing with a team with no prospects and no light at the end of and endless tunnel.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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