Matusz remains optimistic

SARASOTA, Fla. - So, anything going on today?

Brian Matusz has a pressure pad on his left biceps to reduce the swelling after an LJ Hoes line drive slammed off his arm during today's simulated game on Field No. 4.

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Matusz was working his second inning. He was supposed to get up six or seven times to increase his pitch count, but fate intervened again.

"I was feeling good. I was starting to get in a good grove, and then L.J. came up and I threw a fastball and he hit a line drive right back at my arm similar to the situation in Toronto last year," Matusz said.

"I put ice on it right away, done a couple treatments so far. Just keep the inflammation down and see how it feels tomorrow."

No X-rays have been scheduled, and Matusz remains optimistic that he'll make Saturday's start at Tropicana Field.

"I don't think it's going to set me back at all," he said. "The thing I'm most upset about is not continuing to get more work. I was starting to feel good, I was starting to get in a groove and I wanted to get more work. We'll see how it feels tomorrow and go from there. That's pretty much all you can do."

It's been a strange spring for Matusz. He left the team for a day after his first outing to have a wart removed from his left index finger, and he posted a 5.93 ERA in 13 2/3 innings this spring, allowing 17 hits, walking seven and striking out 13. In his last start against major league hitters, he gave up four runs and five hits to the Twins in only 1 1/3 innings. He hasn't completed five innings in any game.

"It's been a frustrating spring in that aspect, but at the same time it's been a very productive spring," he said. "I've been able to work with Mark Connor and Rick Adair, and I feel like I've made a lot of improvements and I was starting to feel good out there. The wart thing and the line drive are things that happen. There's nothing you can do about it other than taking care of it and moving forward.

"I'm just hoping I'm ready for my first outing on Saturday. We'll see how it feels, but I'm not sensing this is going to be any different than last year when I was hit, where it just bruised up a little bit. You can't predict how your body's going to react to a line drive, but I don't foresee it being anything different then that situation last year."

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