Brian Matusz is throwing from 120 feet as the Orioles take batting practice on this glorious Easter morning at Camden Yards.
Matusz will throw his first bullpen session on Tuesday unless the club makes an unexpected change to his schedule.
Update: The club made an unexpected change. Matusz got through today’s session without incident, but he’ll repeat it Tuesday rather than throw in the bullpen. He made 60 throws in increments of 15 this morning from 60 to 120 feet, rested, then threw again from 60 feet while concentrating on keeping the ball down. Almost like he simulated pitching, but on flat ground. A team spokesman said Matusz will do the same thing Tuesday, though the left-hander told reporters that he’ll move to the front of the mound so he can throw from a slight incline. He could throw a bullpen session here on Thursday.
Zach Britton and Jeremy Guthrie are still slated to start the first two games in Boston after tomorrow’s off day. Manager Buck Showalter didn’t flip-flop them.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy is still scheduled to begin baseball-related activities tomorrow by taking dry swings. This will be the first time he’s picked up a bat since injuring his left oblique.
Showalter met with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to discuss the possibility of going back to 12 pitchers and a four-man bench, but “nothing’s imminent there,” according to the manager. Once it happens, we could see Craig Tatum back in Baltimore. He’s one of the options being discussed.
Showalter doesn’t seem worried that the Yankees will retaliate after Josh Rupe drilled Russell Martin in the back last night. The bottom of the ninth was peaceful, but you have to wonder if the Yankees will pick a convenient spot in today’s game to make a statement.
Rupe insisted that he didn’t intentionally hit Martin.
“There’s two sides to it,” Showalter said. “Like I said last night, I understand their concern. I know what it looked like and I’d be concerned, too, but I choose to believe my guy.
“We’ll deal with it. Self-inflicted.”