One of Baltimore's best moves this offseason was trading for veteran pitcher, Kevin Millwood. Although some initially questioned the move, his presence has already been felt this spring. Millwood’s locker has been assigned in between two of the Orioles' most coveted prospects, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman. Both of whom have seen great success this spring and are polishing their resumes in hopes of getting a spot on the opening day roster.
Last year for the Orioles, all the hype was centered on Matt Wieters. In 2010, rookie left-handed pitcher Brian Matusz has been all the talk around Sarasota. Matusz entered spring as one of the Orioles most hyped players, and was ranked as the fifth best prospect by Baseball America.
It wasn’t until early August that Matusz got the call up to the big leagues. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. Matusz became yet another Orioles' pitcher to win his major league debut, in an 8-2 win against the Detroit Tigers. Although he came to the league late last year, Matusz was able to retain his rookie status and will enter the 2010 season as a leading candidate for rookie of the year.
In his first year with the Orioles, Matusz posted a 5-2 record with a 4.63 ERA on 44 innings pitched. Although the ERA is initially nothing to brag about, the growth of Matusz was evident; ending his last five starts with four wins and one no decision.
Matusz was the fourth overall pick of the 2008 draft and was already being ticketed as the Orioles' next big pitcher since Mike Mussina.
In less than a year, Brian Matusz worked his way through the minors, and by year’s end he was pitching for the Orioles. Matusz had remarkable success at each stop, posting an 11-2 record in the minors and a 17-4 combined record for the whole year. Matusz made the jump from the Orioles Double-A affiliate, the Bowie Bay Sox.
Matusz has the make-up of a high strike-out pitcher, while he doesn’t possess the speed of C.C. Sabathia, he makes up for it with his above average repertoire of breaking balls.
Although Matusz’s command is erratic at times, he has seen modest improvements. In 20 innings pitched this spring, Matusz has struck out 19 while only surrendering three walks. The left-handed pitcher has showed tremendous poise and has a veteran like mentality on the mound this spring.