The changes keep coming to the Orioles’ 25-man roster, and to their rotation.
Manager Buck Showalter confirmed the move after meeting with reporters. He called Matusz into his office to break the news. Matusz is 0-5 with an 8.44 ERA (21 1/3 innings pitched, 20 earned runs) in his last five starts.
Executive vice president Dan Duquette said another pitcher is coming up, but he didn’t offer a name. He also said Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings after relieving Matusz, isn’t currently being considered for the rotation.
Matusz is 5-10 with a 5.42 ERA. He’s lost five consecutive starts since holding the Rays to one run and two hits over 7 1/3 innings on June 2. He hasn’t gone more than 5 2/3 innings in those five outings.
“I think the team needs better pitching and I believe that Brian can pitch better. With a couple adjustments that we can help him make at Triple-A, we should be able to get him back on track,” Duquette said.
“I think there’s a couple adjustments he can make that will help him. He’s not too far away from being a winning major league pitcher, and with a couple adjustments and some consistencies that will help him command his fastball better, that will give him a much better chance to be a winning major league pitcher again.”
Duquette wasn’t sure whether the Orioles would bring up a starter or reliever.
“We do have some experienced pitchers at Triple-A that we hope can help us at some point, and you know they are. They’re Tillman and Zach Britton, and at some point we hope that they’re ready to come up and help us in the rotation,” Duquette said.
Asked about Gonzalez being a candidate to start, Duquette replied, “No, I don’t think that’s under consideration, but he did a good job in long relief.”
Matusz’s next turn comes up on Friday against the Angels in Anaheim.
“Any starting pitching staff, consistency is what you’re looking for, and that’s what we need,” Duquette said.