I went to see Matusz pitch at Bowie tonight. 7 IP, 4 hits, 3 BB, 6 Ks. He had all 3 walks in one inning (the ump was squeezing him a little), but otherwise was great. The hits were mostly cheapies.
His FB sat between 88-92 per the stadium gun, getting faster as the game went on (he was always at 90+ by the 3rd inning). He flashed at least two breaking balls and a change-up that was absolutely savage. Batters had no idea what to do with it. Always going down and away, always 7-10 MPH slower than the FB with the same arm speed. Tons of swings and misses on it.
The question now is, Does he get promoted to AAA? In 45 innings at AA, he has a 1.59 ERA, .88 WHIP, and 4.5:1 K-to-BB ratio. 3 levels in one year might be a little ambitious for a pitcher, but Matsuz is sort of forcing the issue, and Tillman's impending promotion opens up a convenient spot. For comparison's sake, David Price pitched only about 90 innings combined at A/AA last year before moving to AAA, which is less than Matusz has this year.
I noticed that Matusz didn't throw very many fastballs inside tonite, (and when his FB missed it was up and away to righties), which might become a concern as he moves up. There were also a few times when it seemed like he was consciously emphasizing the heater (rather than just going to a change-up that would have finished off a batter), which makes sense, since we've heard the O's wanted him to keep working on the FB. This suggests that he's still experimenting a little, but still...I guess you could say the numbers speak for themselves.
So what do you guys think? Should he take Tillman's spot at AAA?
FanPosts are user-created content and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of Camden Chat or SB Nation. They might, though.