Lefty Bullpen Help is Available

By on March 18, 2015

 

Reports surfaced earlier in the week that the New York Mets were interested in Baltimore reliever Brian Matusz. Selected fourth overall in 2008, there was much fanfare about the former University of San Diego stand out. Matusz was given his chance in August of 2009 when he made his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers. He saw early success in the big leagues, however, over the next three seasons he saw his K/9 decrease and his BB/9 increase. The Orioles took notice by moving him to the bullpen, then eventually moving him to Triple-A Norfolk during the 2012 season.

BRIAN MATUSZ (Dugout View)

BRIAN MATUSZ (Dugout View)

The Orioles converted Matusz to a full-time reliever in 2013, much to his disliking. Although he did not like the decision, the Orioles certainly saw positive results after the transformation. First, in 2013, then again in 2014, he set a career best K/9 and BB/9.

Baltimore has lost several offensive pieces during the off-season and appears ready to part ways with Matusz. His $3.2M price tag may scare several teams away, however according to Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles are “willing to include cash” in a potential deal.

Certainly there are several teams looking to improve their bullpen. The Mets, having recently lost Josh Edgin, are just the first team to surface. Other teams that come to mind include:

Blue Jays: If they move Aaron Sanchez to the rotation, Matusz would provide some stability to the back-end. Plus he may get save opportunities.

Rangers: Injury concerns and lack of experience may cause Texas to make a move.

Tigers: Only the White Sox had fewer strikeouts from relief pitchers in 2014. Joe Nathan is 40 years old.

A’s: Oakland was last in the AL in holds (61). Billy Beane has shown he gets the most out of players. Matusz could be a great fit.

 

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