Orioles to begin with Brian Matusz as starter in spring training in 2014

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles intend to try Brian Matusz as a starter to begin next spring training. Is there any reason to believe that will go better than the other times? Well, probably not.

Often attributed to Albert Einstein is the observation that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The Orioles are insane in their repeated attempts to have Brian Matusz be a starting pitcher. According to The Baltimore Sun, this will continue for at least one more spring training, as manager Buck Showalter said Matusz will be among those competing for a rotation spot next season.

You only have to remember his 2011, his 2012, and his spring training of 2013 to figure that is something that isn't going to work out. That said, it costs the Orioles little to nothing to let him start a few games in spring training. There's always the off chance he's figured enough out that he can start and not be terrible. If he continues to be terrible as a starter, they can move him back into the bullpen, where they probably already had him slotted.

Meanwhile, as Matusz is futilely attempting to prove he's a starter, that's more spring training innings for relievers in competition to make the club to pitch. So it might even be for the best. It's just that anyone who acts like there's actually a chance that it will work out can't be taken seriously.

Other left-handed relief options for the O's include Troy Patton, new 40-man addition Chris Jones, and new signee Kelvin de la Cruz. There are enough other choices that both Patton and Matusz could find themselves being expendable, and if any other team is looking for lefty relief help, any of the four could be dangled as trade bait.

A second left-handed starter certainly wouldn't hurt the Orioles. Matusz as a starter likely would hurt the Orioles a lot. The same is also likely true about Zach Britton and T.J. McFarland, other players the Orioles may pretend will deserve consideration for starting spots in the spring. Worse, one of them may actually earn one and get the opportunity to fail through ten or so crappy regular season starts.

The Sun notes that Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez are all virtual locks for the rotation. Bud Norris will also be back, and while his arsenal might be best suited for the bullpen, there's nobody to force him there right now. He is better than Freddy Garcia, at any rate. Steve Johnson and Kevin Gausman are the other players expected to compete for a spot in the rotation. I know who I'm rooting for.

This picture could be made even more complicated if the Orioles sign ahahahahahahahahaha sorry

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