Checking in on Brian Matusz

With all the hullabaloo going on with the big club this week, I stopped paying much attention to the minors. But during today's broadcast, Amber Theoharris mentioned Brian Matusz's outing for Frederick today and re-piqued my interest.

On the road today against the Salem Red Sox, Matusz's line was 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. This is his third straight start where he has pitched 7 innings and his fourth time in 10 starts. His pitching lines for the season:

9 April 4.2 5 2 2 4
14 April 5.0 4 3 3 6
19 April 6.0 7 1 2 8
25 April 6.0 6 2 2 8
1 May 5.1 6 3 2 6
8 May 7.0 6 1 1 13
14 May 5.2 4 1 4 6
20 May 7.0 4 3 1 9
26 May 7.0 4 0 2 5
31 May 7.0 5 0 1 4
Totals: 60.2 51 16 20 69


Matusz's K/9 this season is 10.24, which is second for starters in the Carolina League (barely, Alexander Caldera of the Wilmington Blue Rocks is first at 10.3). He's also pitched the most innings of any pitcher in the Carolina League and is averaging just over 6 innings per game. That's tops on the Frederick Keys.

While his strike out numbers are impressive, Matusz isn't doing as great in the home runs and walks department, at least compared to other starters in the league. He has given up 5 home runs, which is 9th most in the league (HR/9 of 0.74). He's currently walking 2.97 per 9 innings, which is good for 23rd in the league out of 48 starting pitchers. Those aren't bad numbers, just average for the league. If you look at his individual games, he's only walked more than 2 twice. Like I said, it's not bad. Fortunately his 7.5 H/9 is good for 8th in the league, so his WHIP is a very respectable 1.17.

It seems that  Andy MacPhail is instituting a plan to have all pitchers pitch at all levels of the minors. I have no idea if this plan details a minimum time at each level, but I am hoping Brian Matusz will get promoted to Bowie soon because his numbers indicate that he is more than a match for hitters in the Carolina League.  I would love to get him into the rotation with Jake Arrieta and Troy Patton in Bowie and see how he matches up.

Just for fun, here is how some of his stats match up against other prospects in the Orioles system (I know, the level of competition is different, that's why it's for fun).

Name Age G IP ERA HR H/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
Brian Matusz (A+) 22 10 60.2 2.37 5 7.5 2.97 10.24 3.45
Chris Tillman (AAA) 21 8 38 2.13 1 7.8 3.1 10.4 3.38
Troy Patton (AA) 23 9 51 1.76 3 6.7 2.3 6.5 2.85
Jake Arrieta (AA) 23 9 45 3.00 3 7.4 4.0 11.2 2.8
Brandon Erbe (AA) 21 4 20 0.90 2 5.0 3.6 8.6 2.38
Zach Britton (A+) 21 9 47.1 2.47 3 7.4 4.9 8.9 1.81
Rick Zagone (A) 22 9 51.1 1.93 2 7.4 2.4 6.2 2.58


All stats are from Baseball Reference and Matusz's comparisons to other Carolina League pitchers are only to pitchers with at least 5 starts this year.


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