You may have spent the past couple of years watching the occasional successes and more memorable failures of Brian Matusz just waiting for the inevitable time when he would be traded to a National League and suddenly become good. That time has arrived.
According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tronc, Matusz, whose salary was dumped by the Orioles onto the Braves before he was designated for an assignment less than an hour after, has signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs. Oh, yes, the Cubs.
That house for wayward Orioles pitchers will get a crack at another one. Of course Jake Arrieta is the name that still probably drives you a little crazy, but let's not forget that Pedro Strop, the other pitcher in the Scott Feldman trade, is still producing in the Cubs bullpen almost three years after that trade.
Strop’s not missed as much if only because the Orioles are doing pretty well in the bullpen department. But the Cubs have another ex-Oriole in the rotation with Arrieta. That would be Jason Hammel, who was good here in 2012 and not good in that same 2013 season that saw the Arrieta/Strop trade happen.
Hammel had a one year stop in Oakland before finding his way to Chicago, where he has reclaimed himself a career. Hammel has a 1.107 WHIP for the Cubs this year... which is the worst out of all five Cubs pitchers. Even considering it’s the National League, that’s ridiculous.
Since it's just a minor league contract, Matusz will probably head to the Cubs Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. Maybe he’ll play his way to a big league appearance or maybe not.
The Cubs lefty reliever situation is one part of their pitching staff that’s not settled. They’ve been using Clayton Richard, who has pitched 12 innings over 20 games and has a WHIP of 2. Even if all he turns back into is the version of himself from last year, Matusz could be an improvement for them.
Either way, this is the ultimate test of the theory that the Cubs are the fixers of all broken Orioles pitchers.