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#1 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:23 PM

SB Nation / Neyer: http://mlb.sbnation....z-2012-comeback

Baltimore Sports and Life: “If the O’s are ever going to be competitive in the near term, their young pitching has to produce. Matusz was extremely strong over his last 10 starts of 2010, and abysmal over his 12 outings in 2011. Like Jones’s defense, I think the truth about Matusz is probably somewhere in the middle, but he absolutely needs to earn his spot next Spring. What are your current thoughts on him?"

Duquette: “Pitching is going to have to be our cornerstone as it has been throughout the organization’s history when the Orioles have been successful. I’m excited to get to see these talented arms in Sarasota, but we can never have enough pitching. We are going to bring in pitching until we find the right mix, but I hope some of these young guys are long-term solutions and significant parts of our foundation. Everyone will get an opportunity to prove what they can do and the best men for the job will be the ones to get the ball every fifth day.”

Jason Parks / Baseball Prospectus: “I don’t think the pitching is bad; I just don’t think they are great. I think Britton is going to be fine; overcoming and adjusting to failure is paramount to player development. Matusz isn’t the ace some people thought, but he will be a serviceable starter with some good highs and the occasional low.”

Schoenfield / ESPN: “I like Britton very much, am confused about Matusz and believe Arrieta tops out as a No. 5 starter at best. Hopefully Matusz just never recovered from his injury in spring training, and like Roy Halladay in 2000, merely developed a mental block that he can overcome.”

Short / NBC Sports: “Anybody who tells you they know what to expect from Matusz is kidding themselves. He showed plenty of promise after the All-Star break in 2010, but just about everything went wrong for him last season, starting with the strained intercostal muscle during spring training. Can’t give up on him yet, but he’s a huge wild card going into 2012."

Szymborski / ESPN / BBTF: “Matusz is a tricky one, because only a doctor knows exactly what’s going on inside his arm. And even doctors aren’t perfect at getting injured pitchers back on the mound – Mark Prior isn’t not throwing 200 innings a year because of subpar health care after all. Matusz is a complete crapshoot at this point, though the O’s are in a position that they can wait him out."

Mitchell / ESPN / MLB Dirt: “They are a good group to build around but they all come with question marks. I still believe Matusz has #2 potential in him but that velocity has to come back.”

Harkins / NBC Sports: “The thing that concerns me about these guys is the control, which you mentioned. Britton walked 3.6 per nine innings, Matusz was at 4.3 and Arrieta at 4.4. This is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter how good your stuff is, if you can’t command it, you’re not going to get major league hitters out consistently, and their numbers prove it. The good news is that they are all in their early-to-mid 20s, so the their stories are far from over.”

Klaassen / FanGraphs: “I have no idea what happened with Matusz… that’s beyond me. Just awful, and he looked so good prior that. Unless he looks like he’s “back” in the spring, he may need to start the season in the minors to regain his form and work out whatever went wrong. I heard a suggestion somewhere (Law?) that the infield defense (or lack thereof) might have caused him to start pitching differently, I don’t know. With Arrieta, they need to focus on making sure he is healthy to start the year, then go fro there. Britton may not have the upside of Matusz, but he’s the “safest” of these three going into 2012, I have the most confidence in his ability to at least have a non-horrible walk rate.”

Pinto / Baseball Musings: “They are rather low K, high walk pitchers. They’re not terrible in either category, but they are not great either. That’s a problem. If strikeouts are low, walks need to be low, too, so that the extra hits from extra balls in play won’t hurt as much. If walks are high, then strikeouts need to be high to prevent hits. These three pitchers each need to become great at one of those.”

Armida / Baseball Digest: “I still like them all. Like I said earlier, the Orioles have to commit to them and keep running them out there. Matusz had everything go wrong for him—some health and some bad luck as his .382 BABIP would suggest. As long as he is healthy, I see him rebounding."

#2 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:50 AM

CSN Baltimore: Is Matusz ready?
http://www.csnbaltim...176&feedID=6704

#3 NCRaven

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:37 PM

Good stuff, thanks!

This team is totally dependent on a group of 27-years and under pitchers that all have had some major league experience but have yet to establish themselves as quality starters. Britton, Arrieta, Matusz, Hunter and Tillman all are young, with ML experience under their belts. Now they have to make the necessary adjustments and become solid ML pitchers. Chen makes for another intriguing arm, as well. As this group goes, so will go the Orioles, especially considering we have very little at AAA or AA to replace them, with Bobby Bundy the next likely candidate still at least one or two seasons away, if he develops his control.

#4 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:03 PM

I think the odds are still against Matusz making the staff out of Spring Training, but I think the chances have now increased a bit with the trade of Guthrie.

#5 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 11:54 AM

I think the odds are still against Matusz making the staff out of Spring Training, but I think the chances have now increased a bit with the trade of Guthrie.


I've tried to convince myself a few times that Matusz could force the O's hand this Spring, but it really is hard that happening. No matter how good he looks, the deck is still stacked against him. There would need to be injuries to several guys ahead of him.

Regardless of that, I do expect Matusz to spend plenty of time in Baltimore during '12.

Over/Under: Back in the O's rotation by May 1st?
Over/Under: 150 ML innings?

#6 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:00 AM

Baseball Prospectus / Goldstein Chat:
http://www.baseballp....php?chatId=896

john m (ct): "Any chance Brian Matusz regains his stuff?"

Kevin Goldstein: "There is obviously SOME chance, it's counting on it that is the risky part."


So, what percentage chance do you give it?

#7 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:43 PM

Satchel Price, SB Nation: "Matusz looked so bad in 2011 that it’s hard to envision him really succeeding at the big league level right now."

Matthew Pouliot, NBC Sports / Hardball Talk: “I was a big Matusz fan — I thought he’d be one of the 30 or 40 best pitchers in baseball last season — but so much went so wrong in 2011 that there’s really no telling what his future has in store. I’m not writing him off as a lost cause yet, but I don’t think the Orioles can count on him this year. He should be in Triple-A barring an exceptional turnaround this spring.

#8 You Play to Win the Game

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:38 PM

Baseball Prospectus / Goldstein Chat:
http://www.baseballp....php?chatId=896

john m (ct): "Any chance Brian Matusz regains his stuff?"

Kevin Goldstein: "There is obviously SOME chance, it's counting on it that is the risky part."


So, what percentage chance do you give it?


From all accounts, he was very motivated this off-season and had the right outlook. Whether that guarantees that his "stuff" returns or not is an unknown. Based on everything we've heard, I'm going to say 60%.

#9 SportsGuy

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:15 PM

From Britt:

Wieters singled out Brian Matusz' bullpen session today, said it was more Matusz of old than at anytime last yr


Doesn't mean much but still nice to hear anyway.

#10 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:25 AM

MLB.com / Ghiroli: http://baltimore.ori...ws_bal&c_id=bal

#11 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 06:39 PM

ESPN / Tim Kurkjian: https://twitter.com/...001820546699264

"Brian Matusz told me he was 100 percent also. He was clocked at 91 the other day. He was around 85 this time last year."

#12 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:09 AM

MLB Dirt / Michael Schwartze: http://mlbdirt.com/2...tions-for-2012/

11. Brian Matusz posts a sub 4 ERA

"It seems that pretty much everything went wrong for Matusz last year after showing so much promise in 2010. Matusz had a 10.69 ERA in 49.2 innings pitched at the big league level. At AAA he had a 3.46 ERA in 54.2 innings pitched. Matusz had never had an ERA below 4 over the course of the season but I have a feeling that it will happen this year. He’ll need to work on getting his K/9 back up, and lowering his BB/9 some. I think this is a big year for Matusz and it will say a lot about which way his career will be heading."

#13 bnickle

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:40 AM

If Matusz is back up in the low 90's consistently it should make a world of difference. There just wasn't enough difference between his fastball and change last year. Provided health, I think Matusz bounces back in a big way this year. Sub 4.00 ERA is very possible.


BTW.... the work it appears he put into his offseason should also put to rest a lot of those questions about his makeup and desire.

#14 mweb08

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 02:10 PM

If Matusz is back up in the low 90's consistently it should make a world of difference. There just wasn't enough difference between his fastball and change last year. Provided health, I think Matusz bounces back in a big way this year. Sub 4.00 ERA is very possible.


BTW.... the work it appears he put into his offseason should also put to rest a lot of those questions about his makeup and desire.


Yeah, I agree. Getting back to a low 90's fastball would be huge for him. Him bouncing back is one of the best things that can happen in the organization for this year.

#15 Can_of_corn

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:06 PM

I am hopeful that a return of his FB velocity will also mean that his FB/Change speed differential will be back.

Well I hear Linda Ronstadt is looking for a guitar player.


#16 Andrew_G

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:13 PM

I do not believe that Matusz's problems were rooted in his fastball velocity last season. It is certainly true that when he pitched in June that his velocity was way down - most likely the result of, among other things, his intercostal strain - but his fastball velocity in August and September was much closer to normal than has been widely reported. And yet his effectiveness did not return with it.

It is possible that these things snowballed on him, and the fastball velocity got the ball rolling (so to speak) and by the time he returned to the big leagues his focus and confidence had eroded, but we have to start with the fact that his secondary stuff was very bad and that accounts for his struggles more than fastball velocity.

All of this is to say that the reported radar readings (which could be fast, mind you) are certainly better than the alternative, but in no way represent tea leaves to be read.
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#17 bnickle

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:32 PM

I do not believe that Matusz's problems were rooted in his fastball velocity last season. It is certainly true that when he pitched in June that his velocity was way down - most likely the result of, among other things, his intercostal strain - but his fastball velocity in August and September was much closer to normal than has been widely reported. And yet his effectiveness did not return with it.

It is possible that these things snowballed on him, and the fastball velocity got the ball rolling (so to speak) and by the time he returned to the big leagues his focus and confidence had eroded, but we have to start with the fact that his secondary stuff was very bad and that accounts for his struggles more than fastball velocity.

All of this is to say that the reported radar readings (which could be fast, mind you) are certainly better than the alternative, but in no way represent tea leaves to be read.



I don't get into the deep pitching statistical analysis. I know fangraghs or other sites actually chart pitches velocity, depth, etc but I'm not sure his secondary pitches got worse or anything like that. I do think a lot of his secondary pitches weren't as effective because teams didn't respect the fastball. Everything still works off the fastball. We also know that Ortiz told Matusz that he had lost his deception and there were concerns that he was tipping his pitches.


Anyway, I think last year was mostly a case of things building on top of things which eventually caused him to lose confidence and just messed him up mentally. Starting with the injury, the loss of velocity, getting rocked, the demotion, coming back and getting rocked some more. I don't care how mentally tough you are, when everything seemingly goes wrong, it beats you down. I think last season couldn't end soon enough for Brian. As I said, the dedication he seemingly put into his offseason tells me something about his makeup and desire to be a good pitcher in this league. I certainly still believe he has the talent to do so.

#18 ravens8589

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 08:40 PM

The saddest part about Matusz is he has the pitches to be dominant. Biggest problems are his control and velocity. Not many starting pitchers can get away with an 88 mph fast ball and he has shown that. The potential is definitely there but he needs to get some control first and foremost and that goes for every young pitcher on the staff.
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#19 SportsGuy

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:20 PM

Matusz consistently hit 91 in the first inning of his start tonight...Good to see.

#20 dpsmith22

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:29 PM

If Matusz is back up in the low 90's consistently it should make a world of difference. There just wasn't enough difference between his fastball and change last year. Provided health, I think Matusz bounces back in a big way this year. Sub 4.00 ERA is very possible.


BTW.... the work it appears he put into his offseason should also put to rest a lot of those questions about his makeup and desire.



I think this last comment is my part of my statement as to why he WILL bounce back.

He is in great shape and obviously worked hard. He has NEVER struggled as a pitcher even in his rookie season. I think he learned it isn't fun.

I believe BM will be a legit #2 in the big leagues as early as 2013.
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