Notes on Brian Matusz, pitching and music event

SARASOTA, Fla. - Unable to determine whether he's headed to the disabled list, the best that Orioles reliever Brian Matusz can do today is pick up a ball, play catch and wait for a resolution.

Matusz will throw for the first time since receiving a cortisone injection in his lower back following Sunday's outing, when he retired all three batters he faced but didn't appear comfortable on the mound.

Asked for an update this morning on his condition, Matusz said, "I feel great."

But is it too late?

Manager Buck Showalter has indicated that Matusz likely will need to be placed on the disabled list after working only two innings this spring, his debut coming on March 2.

Brian Matusz black.jpgMatusz will meet with head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti after today's security meeting and "kind of look at the schedule and kind of discuss a plan and go from there."

The Orioles have eight exhibition games remaining, the last on April 1 in Philadelphia. Could Matusz build up enough innings to break camp with the team?

"That's something that Dave, Dom, Richie and myself are going to talk about later this morning," Matusz said.

Matusz gave up a run and two hits, with one walk, in one inning against the Braves in his first outing. He retired the Rays in order, but two balls were lined to center field.

The Orioles decided on the cortisone injection after the game.

"I guess it was more of an uncomfortable feeling and I just felt like at that time the cortisone shot was the best route to go in order to be most useful to help this team," Matusz said. "We felt like then was the right time to do it. And now we're going to take it day by day and go from there."

Matusz looked like he was trying to loosen up his back between pitches on Sunday.

"I think just like in the heat of the moment of pitching and everything that, to be honest, I didn't really notice it," he said. "Just with the adrenaline and everything and playing in the game, I might have been just feeling around, that type of thing. But after that inning, it kind of stiffened a little bit and that's when we met with Richie and decided to do what we did."

* The Orioles are listing Odrisamer Despaigne, Dylan Bundy, Oliver Drake and Zach Phillips as available relievers today behind starter Chris Tillman. Phillips would be making his debut after the Orioles signed him to a major league deal earlier this week.

Yovani Gallardo is starting Saturday in Sarasota. The Red Sox had listed Clay Buchholz as their starter, but the spot is now TBD.

* The Orioles are supplying the tunes at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday, hosting an exclusive, invitation-only event called "Nashville's Music Row Comes to the Ballpark."

Every dollar raised will directly benefit the Sarasota Family YMCA's Youth Programs and Music Health Alliance. The performances will begin at 8:45 p.m. and showcase a cross-section of Nashville's vast songwriting community, including Songwriter Hall of Fame writer and Grammy award winner Desmond Child, multiplatinum writer of hundreds of hit singles Bob DiPiero, country radio hit songwriter Justin Wilson and emerging Nashville newcomer Margaret Valentine.

The event will feature a VIP cocktail reception with Orioles players and guests. MASN'S Jim Hunter will serve as emcee.

Child, DiPiero, Wilson and Valentine will perform in a country-style songwriter round, a concept made famous in Nashville. In fact, you may have seen it in the television series "Nashville."

"The Orioles are serving as a catalyst to bring together a vibrant group of songwriters and athletes from different corners of the entertainment world and at different stages of their pursuit of excellence - all united in a single charitable endeavor," Orioles executive vice president John Angelos said in a release. "The City of Sarasota, much like its sister city of Baltimore, is home to a vibrant arts and entertainment culture. Bringing world-renowned writers from Nashville's historical Music Row - the cradle of the music entertainment industry - to Sarasota is a perfect match for this inaugural charitable event."

The YMCA's Youth Programs encourage sportsmanship, self-improvement and team building and strive to create a better future for underserved children. Each year, the Sarasota Family YMCA serves more than 50,000 people.

Music Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides access to healthcare for the music industry. More than 76 percent of music professionals across the nation have limited access to healthcare because they are self-employed or part of small businesses.

"Through this special partnership with the Orioles, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness and funds to provide critical support to programs for children in need," said YMCA Foundation of Sarasota president Jennifer Grondahl. "These programs make a real difference in the lives of Sarasota youth by providing a safe place for children to learn, grow, thrive and to develop into healthy, confident individuals."

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