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Brian Matusz gets demoted after loss to Indians

Jul 1, 2012, 4:57 PM EDT

Brian Matusz Getty Images

The final week before the All-Star Game usually features a few demotions of starting pitchers with the idea that they can get a start in the minors during the break and then come back up afterwards. We’ll see if that’s the case with Brian Matusz here.

The Orioles demoted their left-hander Sunday after he gave up five runs — four earned — in four innings against the Indians. He fell to 5-10 on the year, with his ERA climbing to 5.42.

Matusz, the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft, was expected to open this season in the minors after posting a record-setting 10.69 ERA in 12 starts last year. However, he was very impressive in spring training in earning a rotation spot, and he did solid enough work for the Orioles for the first two months of the year, going 5-5 with a 4.41 ERA.

Unfortunately, Matusz’s loss today was his fifth in five starts. He has an 8.44 ERA during that span. He gave up homers to Shelley Duncan and Aaron Cunningham in the loss today.

Matusz figures to get two starts in the minors before the Orioles reevaluate his status. If he pitches well, he might be back as the fifth starter right after the break. If not, then the Orioles may try Chris Tillman or Joel Pineiro as a replacement.

  1. skipbaylesslovesmen - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Another amazing prospect the orioles ruined. Makes me sick

  2. joeflaccosunibrow - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    I saw this coming. He would have been in Norfolk sooner if we had Britton back.

    When Buck went out to get him, neither one said a word. I bet he knew he was leaving on a jet plane…

    Is it time to consider him a bust? He wouldn’t even be good out of the pen. His WHIP is like 6.

  3. dowhatifeellike - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    I bet he’s going to be down there a while. He needs to get his head right and figure out how to get the ball down in the zone.

  4. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Too bad. I’ll miss his production off the mound.

  5. DJ MC - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    This is a real shame. He was having a bad month, for sure, but if the Orioles put even a half-decent defense behind him he would look a lot better. Each game there were at least two or three awful defensive plays that weren’t called errors but led to otherwise unnecessary runs. They extended innings, and the way he pitched he appeared to be overthrowing, likely because he didn’t trust his teammates.

    I’m betting he does really well in Norfolk. It’s a pitchers’ park, and the defense will be at least better than in Baltimore.

    I certainly don’t think he is done as an effective pitcher. Not even in 2012.

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