Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Matusz Turning the Corner?

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Brian Matusz has been on a roller coaster since his first day in the big leagues. We have seen the young southpaw go from once highly touted prospect that would soon be the ace of the Orioles pitching staff to injury prone bust and now a bottom end of the rotation guy who could either implode or hurl a gem on any given night.

I have always liked Brian Matusz and wished success for him. This guy does have top of the rotation stuff and could one day be the Orioles number one or number two if only he can become more consistent. After watching Matusz throw a gem against Boston on Tuesday I wonder if he has finally turned the corner and moved on from a nightmarish 2011 campaign that saw him go 1-9 with an ERA of 10.69. If this proves to be the case, he picked a good time to turn that corner as the Orioles pitching staff has been having some struggles as of late.

Opening day starter Jake Arrieta has not won a game since May 2 and his only other win came on opening day as he sits on a 2-5 record for the year. Arrieta has not pitched horrible but has shown struggle with his command leading to the inability to make it late into games.

Jason Hammel, who should be a serious All Star contender, has also had some troubles since he was placed on the DL as he has not been able to make it into the 6th inning since his knee started to flare up.

Tommy “Big Game ” Hunter has, like Arrieta, not been awful as he can almost always go 6 or 7 innings but sits on top of a 2-2 record with an ERA over 5, making it hard to say hes been successful but also hard to say he has not been solid part of the starting rotation.

But getting back to Matusz…

This kid has been trending upward since a rough start to the season by slowly deflating his ERA down from 9 to 4.86 while accumulating a .500 record at 4-4. If Matusz can keep improving like he has been his name could become a reliable fixture in the 5 man rotation, a big improvement from being the first name brought up whenever anyone would ask the question “Who gets sent down when Britton is healthy?” Although it still may be Matusz when or if that day comes he still deserves some respect as the Brian Matusz of May seems like a night and day difference from the first month of the season.

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