Matusz ready to pitch

Left-hander Brian Matusz will have more of a presence in the Orioles’ bullpen today than just his No. 17 taped to the bench.

Matusz has returned to the club after missing the last two games with an illness. He threw in the outfield before batting practice and worked up a good sweat.

matuszbullpennumber.jpg“I feel good,” he said.”I went out and played catch with Zach (Britton) and felt like the ball was coming out good. My energy is coming back. I’m going to go out there and prepare and be ready to pitch.”

Matusz became ill late Thursday, went to the emergency room and never made it to the ballpark the next two days. A 24- or 48-hour virus?

“I don’t know if I can put a timeline on it,” he said. “I think going to the hospital really helped to speed things up, in terms of getting on the IV and getting fluids and getting medicine and all that stuff. I think that helped to speed the process up.

“I was throwing up the first day, and all day yesterday was just kind of going through the soreness and the body ache and the weakness phase of things. I didn’t really get out of bed until this morning other than going to the hospital. Today was the first time really getting up and moving around. Yesterday I was able to eat solid foods and do all that stuff. Feel good, feel ready to go today.”

Matusz is tired of hospitals. He drove to an emergency room in Sarasota in spring training after having an allergic reaction to peanuts, his condition further complicated by a second reaction and an asthma attack. And he flew to Philadelphia to have a wart removed from his left hand.

“I’m fed up with visits and having to talk about it,” he said. “It’s like, ‘Geez, is this kid a bubble boy? What’s wrong with this kid?’ Obviously, it’s never fun to do and not fun to talk about, either. But stuff happens. Fortunately, we were able to get through it. We were able to pitch really well the last two days, so I didn’t feel as bad because of that. But I’m happy to be here today and hopefully contribute and pick up the slack for guys who have thrown the last few days.”

On the positive side, no one is asking about the wart anymore.

“Fortunately, until you just brought it up,” he said, grinning. “No one’s said anything.”

The No. 17 is still displayed in the bullpen. Matusz’s father, Mike, texted him a photo of it last night.

“I was dying,” Matusz said. “That was awesome.”

Note: The Blue Jays made a minor change to their lineup. Adam Lind is now the designated hitter and Edwin Encarnacion is the first baseman. Act accordingly.

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