Matusz prepared to start tomorrow, but could be pushed back

The Orioles already were listing their Thursday starter as TBA. Now they’ve got the same uncertainty with tomorrow’s pitcher.

Brian Matusz was scheduled to start before being hit in the nose by a bunted ball during an afternoon drill. X-rays were negative, but the Orioles could push back Matusz until perhaps Friday in Atlanta to give him a little more time to heal.

“For me, I’m mentally prepared to pitch tomorrow and I’m ready to go, but with the nose being something that could swell up, who knows?” he said. “I’m going to see how it feels tomorrow.

“I was doing a bunting session in the cage, bunting off the machine and just fouled one straight off my nose. It was one of those things. It was unfortunate. It was no one’s fault. It just happened. Nose was bleeding, but we were able to stop that right away. Luckily (assistant athletic trainer) Brian Ebel was actually in the cage, so we were able to get on it right away. Took X-rays. It was negative, and the swelling has actually gone down a lot over the last few hours, putting ice on it every hour.

“In talking with the doctor, he said there could be some swelling throughout the night, so we want to play it, see how it goes, see how the nose reacts tonight. Right now it feels pretty good, but we’ll wait tomorrow to see how it feels.”

Matusz was advised to keep his head elevated through the night.

“I’m going to go ahead and do that,” he said. “That’s about it.”

As for tomorrow’s starter, the Orioles could pitch Jake Arrieta on normal rest or give the ball to Dana Eveland. They could recall Miguel Gonzalez if Endy Chavez goes on the disabled list, though the Orioles would be short a position player (and an outfielder).

Tommy Hunter is likely to start Thursday, which would line up Matusz for Friday.

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