After eight seasons, Brian Matusz is no longer an Oriole.
As a part of the trade, the Braves will also receive the 76th overall pick from Baltimore in the 2016 MLB Draft. The O’s will receive two minor league arms from the Braves; righty Brandon Barker and lefty Trevor Belicek. Here are some numbers on the two new Orioles arms:
- 3-2, 2.00 ERA, 40 strikeouts in nine games (eight starts) with AA Mississippi this season
- 3-0. 2.22 ERA, 32 strikeouts in 12 games with Class A Rome and AA Mississippi
Rumors about Matusz’s status with the Orioles have been tossed around the past few weeks. After battling a back injury in spring training, Matusz could not find his groove in seven relief appearances this season. In those appearances Matusz allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits, seven walks, and just one strikeout. His ERA is currently 12.
Matusz, a lefty-specialist, was the fourth overall pick by the Orioles in the 2008 MLB Draft. Up until 2013, Matusz was a starter for Baltimore. He has 68 career starts with a 5.51 ERA. After he was moved to the bullpen, his ERA dropped to 3.47, but his struggles were too much of a problem and the Orioles decided to end the experiment.
The Braves are in need of starting pitching, so it will be interesting to see if Matusz is given the chance to start for Atlanta.
Atlanta will eat up the rest of Matusz’s salary through the rest of this season, and then he will hit free agency. If Matusz wants to stay with a big-league ball club after this season, he will need to turn it around and start getting hitters out.
It is unclear who will replace Matusz in the Orioles bullpen. After TJ McFarland injured his knee in a minor league start of Friday, the Orioles will have to explore other options in the minor leagues.