Do you promote Brian Matusz for Tuesday's start?
Now that the Orioles have optioned Chris Tillman to Triple-A Norfolk, they have an open spot in their rotation (OK, I know you could argue there isn’t just one).
But there’s an obvious “to be announced” slot for Tuesday in Oakland. The Orioles could put Brad Bergesen, who pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief Thursday, into the rotation again. If he doesn’t pitch again this week, he’d be on regular rest.
Or they could grab someone from the minors.
And who would be on turn from Triple-A Norfolk?
Yep, lefty Brian Matusz, who threw a complete-game shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies’ top affiliate on Thursday afternoon. He is 2-3 with a 3.46 ERA in nine starts for Norfolk and has allowed four earned runs in his last 23 innings (1.57 ERA) after going 1-4 with an 8.77 ERA in six starts with the Orioles this season.
He was hitting 88 and 89 consistently with his fastball on Thursday and touched 91 mph. That’s not ideal, but it’s better than what he had registered previously this year with the Orioles.
The question today is whether you’d bring him up Tuesday and start him. Or if you think he needs to stay down, keep working on things and keep dominating so when he comes back, he returns for good.
This guy should be an important part of the team’s future. You have to handle him correctly. If he’s not ready and gets clobbered again consistently at the big-league level, he may regress further. But you also want him to get as much experience against big-league competition as possible.
One old time baseball man once told me that if you have to worry about what poor performances to do a young player’s psyche, then that young player doesn’t have what it takes mentally to stay in the big leagues for the long haul, no matter the initial outcome. Not sure I fully believe that, but it has some merit.
The Orioles have a tough call for Tuesday. I want to know what you do with Matusz this week.
Daily Think Special: Do you promote Brian Matusz for Tuesday’s start?