Brian Matusz threw 40 pitches, including 26 strikes, over three innings in an extended spring training game today at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota, Fla.
Matusz didn’t walk a batter and said he had a good feel for his fastball. His off-speed stuff was a little inconsistent, but it was very good at times.
Matusz was hit on the right wrist/palm area by a comebacker, but he’s fine. I’m sure manager Buck Showalter held his breath while watching the video.
Matusz will join the Orioles in St. Petersburg this weekend and throw in the bullpen at Tropicana Field. He’ll fly back with the team Sunday night and make his first injury rehab start the following night at Single-A Frederick.
Showalter said he spoke to right fielder Nick Markakis about an hour ago. Doctors told Markakis to stay home today while he’s dealing with a highly contagious stomach virus that had spread to his wife and kids.
Markakis said he’s feeling a little better, but he won’t play tonight. He won’t get anywhere near the ballpark.
Third baseman Mark Reynolds isn’t startiing tonight because he’s in a 9-for-71 slump (.127) and has only five RBIs in his last 23 games. He did early hitting again today and will watch video and take batting practice, so it’s not a true day off.
Showalter said it’s “more than likely” that Reynolds will return to the lineup tomorrow night.
Props to the reader who suggested earlier today that Brad Bergesen might skip his bullpen session so he’s available to pitch in relief tonight. That’s exactly what happened.
Bergesen will make Saturday’s start against the Rays if he isn’t needed for an extended stretch tonight. If he’s unavailable, the Orioles would most likely call up a pitcher from Triple-A Norfolk.
The Tides’ next three scheduled starters after tonight are left-handers Chris George and Mike Ballard, and right-hander Chorye Spoone. Chris Jakubauskas tossed four scoreless innings last night against Syracuse. In his previous start, he allowed six runs and five hits - including two homers - and walked two batters in two innings against Indianapolis.
Alfredo Simon threw 94 pitches in five-plus innings at Double-A Bowie. He was charged with three runs, though two scored after he left the game with no outs in the sixth. He walked three and struck out eight.
The Orioles still don’t know when he’ll pitch again because he’s flying to the Dominican Republic instead of joining Norfolk for Monday’s game at Lehigh Valley.