Simon back in U.S., Matusz talks about outing

FREDERICK, Md. - Alfredo Simon has returned to the U.S. tonight after flying to the Dominican Republic on Saturday. He's expected back in Baltimore around 10:30 p.m. and will pitch for Double-A Bowie tomorrow night in Richmond.

This will be Simon's third rehab start with the Baysox.

Brian Matusz said he felt good tonight while throwing 60 pitches in four innings against the Single-A Potomac Nationals, "but I felt better in the bullpen warming up before the game."

Matusz allowed one run and two hits, walked two and struck out two.

"I felt like once I got on the mound, I was kind of rushing things a little bit," he said. "My rhythm was a little off. But it was nice to be able to get four ups today. That was big for me. I needed that. I needed to get up and down and be able to think about things between innings and just kind of gather myself. I felt like as the innings went on, I was able to kind of relax and not be so mechanical, be a little loose. It's a start. I need to get my ups, I need to get my pitches in, but there are some things I need to work on.

"I made some nice pitches, threw some good changeups, couple nice curveballs in for strikes, and working the fastball in and out. My fastball command wasn't where I wanted it. I was off. I was just out of sync with my rhythm, but those are things that will just come the more you get ups and the more you keep working. I'm going to stick with this process and keep going.

"I feel healthy. That's the most important thing. I'll just keep it going from there."

At extended spring training, Matusz said he was happy with his fastball command but battled inconsistency with his breaking stuff. It was the opposite tonight.

"I was a little off tonight," he said. "It's been a while throwing in front of fans like that. But I need that experience, I need to get my innings in, and that's why I'm here. I took a lot from today. I took a lot of good things. But I've got to slow myself down a little bit in my delivery. I'll get there. I'll like to watch the video today and be able to watch my mechanics and be able to make adjustments."

Matusz said he wasn't fatigued after four innings. He wanted to keep going, but the Orioles weren't going to allow it.

"I felt like I was just starting to get in a rhythm and feeling things a little bit," he said. "I felt good. I feel strong. Just got to continue getting work. Got to get those innings and get that feel. I'm getting close."

Matusz's fastball ranged from 86 to 91 mph, but velocity isn't a big concern for him at this point in his rehab.

"It's more about working on things," he said. "I'm not trying to light up the gun or do anything crazy like that."

Matusz only shook off catcher Brian Ward a few times.

"I was just trying to get my work in," he said. "I wasn't trying to set guys up to do anything. We worked well. It was fun. We had a good time out there."

Matusz will be extended to 75-80 pitches in his next start at Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk.

"It looks like we're on track," he said.

Matusz will leave Frederick behind. He hadn't pitched here since beginning his professional career in 2009.

"It was fun," he said. "It was a good experience. It's a great ballpark. It's a fun place to play. The fans are great and it's an exciting time to be able to make my rehab start, my first one, here in Frederick."

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