Matusz Gets Sent To Norfolk
For most of the 2012 season, Brian Matusz getting sent down to Triple-A Norfolk has felt like a matter of not if, but when. Sunday proved to be the last straw.
Matusz gave up seven hits and four (five total) earned runs in 4.2 innings during Sunday's 6-2 loss to the Indians. He gave up a career-high 13 hits last week. Matusz fell to 5-10 with a 5.42 ERA.
Matusz hadn't gotten six innings of work since June 2.
The 2008 first-round pick has lost 10 games twice during his first three full seasons. The only reason he didn't get 10 last year during his 1-9 campaign a year ago was that he spent the first part of the season injured before struggling so badly that he was demoted to Norfolk. His 10.69 ERA a year ago was miserable. He made some corrections during the offseason, began to condition himself better and appeared to regain some of his velocity.
He is the second pitcher this year to hit 10 losses in the majors.
Manager Buck Showalter said last week that Matusz's struggles were about command. Showalter met with Matusz after the game Sunday as the two men discussed his fate. As with last year, a bruised confidence is getting to Matusz, and the Orioles would do well not to rush him back to Baltimore, no matter how desperate they get.
The Orioles also demoted Tommy Hunter and Xavier Avery this weekend, while promoting Miguel Gonzalez. Hunter, like Matusz, has struggled mightily. Hunter has given up 20 home runs this season during 15 total games. He's been making bullpen appearances lately. This isn't the first time he's been demoted this season, either.
The Orioles have rotation issues heading into the All-Star break. If they don't make a major move for an arm, the season could spiral out of control quickly.
Posted July 1, 2012