Next up: Brian Matusz

It’s going to be the same drill for Brian Matusz tomorrow as the other starters making their first appearances in the Grapefruit League. Two innings or 35 pitches.

Jeremy Guthrie completed two innings in 33 pitches before coming out of today’s game. Now it’s Matusz’s turn.

“I can’t wait,” Matusz said earlier today. “I’m really excited. In my last few sessions facing hitters, I was getting pumped up for it. I was treating it like it was a game.

“It’s exciting to get back out there on the mound. And now I get to face another team. It’s been so long. It feels like it’s been forever, this off-season. So I’m just excited to get things going and get back into a good routine, get into a good groove, get a good feel and have fun with it.”

I’d say he’s pretty fired up.

“I feel good,” he said. “My last few side sessions, I’ve just felt really good. I feel loose, I feel strong, I feel like I have a good feel for all four pitches.

“I just want to come out there throwing strikes. Hopefully, I get ahead of hitters and make sure I go two innings. It’s important for me to come out there throwing strikes and get a good feel and try to get back into that good groove of getting all my pitches going.”

I’m starting to feel sorry for the Rays’ hitters.

OK, not really.

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