Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz and bullpen coach Rick Adair are meeting with manager Buck Showalter this morning to discuss the left-hander’s outing last night at Double-A Bowie and where he’ll make his next start.
Matusz allowed three hits in six scoreless innings against Erie, but he wasn’t completely satisfied.
“It was good. I had good results yesterday,” he said. “I was able to make good pitches. I didn’t have the best feel for all my stuff. I didn’t feel like it was coming out of my hand like I wanted it to, but I feel like I’m on track, I feel like it’s real close to being where I want to be.
“This is a process getting ready. This is my spring training. I was able to go six innings and throw 70 pitches and I had good results, and that’s a plus. It’s a good confidence-builder for me and I’ll be able to use that in my next start, wherever is it.”
Would he be more comfortable making a third rehab start or joining the Orioles’ rotation?
“That’s something I’ll talk over with Mark Connor and Buck and see where they feel like I’m at,” he said. “I’ll talk to Rick Adair, who was at the game yesterday, and kind of discuss it with them and get a good feel. It all depends on the starting rotation and days and where they need a guy. All of that’s got to fall into place. I’m sure Buck has a pretty good idea. I’ve just got to sit down with him and see what the game plan is.”
I give Matusz credit for being honest and saying he didn’t have all of his pitches working last night. He wasn’t trying to make a hard sell to get back in the rotation.
“No one ever wants to feel like that, but yeah, it’s just part of the game. It’s just how it’s going to be,” he said. “You’re not always going to feel good, you’re not always going to have you best stuff. You’ve just got to be able to pitch well with the stuff that you do have, and that’s what I was able to do yesterday. That doesn’t mean I’m not ready. It doesn’t mean anything. I could feel a lot better tomorrow or today. We’ll see. I’m right on track. It’s a good confidence-builder and we’ll just go day to day.”
The Orioles aren’t desperate for a fifth starter. They don’t have Brad Bergesen listed to start in the Kansas City series, and they have open dates on the schedule tomorrow, June 2, 9, 13, 23 and 27.
Update: Matusz will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday before the Orioles decide whether to activate him. I’m guessing that he makes one more rehab start in the minors. Showalter pointed out that he usually wants his pitchers throw throw a minimum of 20 innings before leaving spring training. Matusz has thrown 15 between extended spring training, Single-A Frederick and Bowie.
Bergesen threw in the bullpen today. Showalter didn’t confirm that Bergesen is being skipped in the rotation, but right now the Royals are slated to face Zach Britton on Tuesday, Jake Arrieta on Wednesday and Jeremy Guthrie on Thursday.
Second baseman Brian Roberts is eligible to come off the seven-day disabled list on Tuesday, but it’s not going to happen. He hasn’t started baseball-related activities and is still dealing with concussion-like symptoms. He compared the feeling yesterday to motion sickness.
Infielder Cesar Izturis will undergo surgery on Tuesday to move the ulnar nerve in his right elbow. Showalter gave him the option of going home, but he wants to stay with the team.