Brian Matusz

Last updated
Brian Matusz
Matusz with the Baltimore Orioles
Born: (1987-02-11) February 11, 1987 (age 31)
Grand Junction, Colorado
Batted: LeftThrew: Left
MLB debut
August 4, 2009, for the Baltimore Orioles
Last MLB appearance
July 31, 2016, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 27–41
Earned run average 4.92
Strikeouts 462
Brian Matusz
Medal record
Men's Baseball
Representing Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Pan American Games
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2007 Rio de Janeiro Team

Brian Robert Matusz ( /ˈmætəs/ MAT-əs; born February 11, 1987) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago Cubs.

Americans citizens, or natives, of the United States of America

Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents, may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.

Baseball Sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

Pitcher the player responsible for throwing ("pitching") the ball to the batters in a game of baseball or softball

In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the pitcher is assigned the number 1. The pitcher is often considered the most important player on the defensive side of the game, and as such is situated at the right end of the defensive spectrum. There are many different types of pitchers, such as the starting pitcher, relief pitcher, middle reliever, lefty specialist, setup man, and the closer.



Matusz attended the University of San Diego, where he played on the school's baseball team as a starting pitcher. Matusz, Josh Romanski, and Matt Couch anchored the Toreros rotation. [1]

University of San Diego Private university in San Diego, California, United States

The University of San Diego (USD) is a private Roman Catholic research university in San Diego, California. Founded in 1949 as the San Diego College for Women and San Diego University, the academic institutions merged into the University of San Diego in 1972. Since then, the university has grown to comprise nine undergraduate and graduate schools, to include the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and School of Law. USD offers 79 undergraduate and graduate programs, and enrolls approximately 9,073 undergraduate, paralegal, graduate and law students.

San Diego Toreros baseball

The San Diego Toreros baseball team is the varsity intercollegiate baseball program of the University of San Diego, located in San Diego, California, United States. The program has been a member of the NCAA Division I West Coast Conference since prior to the 1985 season. Beginning in 2013, its home venue will be Fowler Park, located on the University of San Diego campus. Rich Hill has been the program's head coach since prior to the 1999 season. As of the end of the 2012 season, the team has appeared in seven NCAA Tournaments, all since 2002. It has won four conference championship series, three regular season conference championships, and two regular season division championships. As of the start of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, 15 former Toreros have appeared in Major League Baseball.

Joshua Michael Romanski is an American minor league baseball outfielder for the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. He is a former left-handed pitcher. Prior to beginning his professional career, Romanski attended the University of San Diego.

Matusz was named to the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year honors and finalist for the Roger Clemens Award. [2]

West Coast Conference college athletics conference of private parochial schools in the western United States

The West Coast Conference (WCC) is a collegiate athletic conference affiliated in NCAA Division I consisting of ten member schools across the states of California, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

The Roger Clemens Award was an award that honored the top NCAA Division I college baseball pitcher of the year. The award was created prior to the 2004 season and succeeded the Rotary Smith Award.

Professional career

Baltimore Orioles

Matusz with the Orioles Brian Matusz on August 30, 2009.jpg
Matusz with the Orioles

Drafted fourth overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft. Matusz signed a contract with the Orioles on August 15, 2008, the deadline to sign draft picks. [2]

In spring 2009 he was invited to the Orioles spring training. In June 2009, he was promoted from high Single-A (Frederick Keys) to a starting pitcher for the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He struck out 10 batters in his first start for Bowie on June 17. Matusz was named Baseball America's ninth best overall prospect mid-season in 2009. Before the 2010 season, Baseball America named him the fifth best prospect in all of baseball. [3]

The Frederick Keys minor league baseball team is the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The Keys are based in Frederick, Maryland. The franchise is named for Star Spangled Banner poet Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick County. A new team mascot "Frank Key", short for Francis Scott Key, joined the current mascot, a coyote named Keyote, at the beginning of the 2011 baseball season. The team is currently owned by Maryland Baseball Holding LLC, after being purchased in 2006 from Comcast Spectacor. Home games are played at Harry Grove Stadium.

The Bowie Baysox are a Minor League Baseball team located in Bowie, Maryland. They are the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, and play in the Eastern League. Their home ballpark is Prince George's Stadium.

Baseball America is a sports magazine that covers baseball at every level, with a particular focus on up-and-coming players in high school, college, Japan, and the minor leagues. It is currently published in the form of a bi-weekly newspaper, five annual reference book titles, a weekly podcast, and a website. It also regularly produces lists of the top prospects in the sport, and covers aspects of the game from a scouting and player-development point of view. The publication's motto is "Baseball news you can't find anywhere else."

Matusz made his major league debut on August 4, 2009, against the Detroit Tigers. On his debut Matusz went five innings, allowing six hits, one earned run and striking out five. He earned a win in his effort. On September 14, the O's decided to shut Matusz down for the remainder of the season, wary of overextending the rookie in his first big league season. [4]

The 2009 Detroit Tigers season was the team's 109th season. The Tigers' new slogan for 2009 was "Always a Tiger." It replaced the 2006–2008 slogan "Who's Your Tiger?"

The 2009 Major League Baseball season began on April 5, 2009, the regular season was extended two days for a one-game playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins to decide the American League Central Division champion. The postseason began the next day with the Division Series. The 2009 World Series began on October 28, and ended on November 4, with the New York Yankees defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. This was the second time the season was completed in November. The only other occasion was the 2001 World Series, that because of the delaying of the end of that season because of the September 11 attacks as November baseball would be guaranteed when Game 4 was played on Sunday, November 1. Had the 2009 World Series gone the full seven games, Game 7 would've been played on November 5, the latest date ever scheduled for a World Series game. American League champion had home field advantage for the World Series by virtue of winning the All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, 4–3. In addition, the annual Civil Rights Game became a regular season game, and was played June 20 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, when the host Cincinnati Reds lost to the Chicago White Sox in an interleague game, 10–8. Both teams wore replicas of their 1965 uniforms in the contest.

He was named a starting pitcher on Baseball America's 2010 All-Rookie Team. [5]

He missed the first two months of the 2011 season with an injury. [6] He returned and got six starts and finished with a 1-4 record with an ERA above 7.00 before being demoted to Triple-A Norfolk on June 30 to work on his velocity. [7] He was later recalled and continued to struggle, posting a 1-7 record and 9.84 ERA before his removal from the starting rotation in September. [8]

Matusz began the 2012 season in the rotation, but was demoted to the bullpen in August. In the bullpen, Matusz excelled, striking out 19 with a 1.35 ERA in 18 appearances. He also did not allow a single inherited runner to score. He pitched the last three months of the season with a rectus abdominis tear, preventing him from sprinting, but not pitching. He had surgery in October to repair the tear, and was expected to be back for spring training. [9]

In 2013, Matusz made the transition to full-time reliever, appearing in 65 games. He was 2-1 with a 3.53 ERA for the Orioles.

On May 23, 2015, Matusz was ejected from the game against the Miami Marlins in the 12th inning for cheating, specifically for having a foreign substance on his right forearm. He was the second pitcher to be ejected for a foreign substance in that past week. He was suspended for 8 games. [10]

On February 4, 2016, Matusz and the Orioles agreed to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. [11] He was coming off a career-best season out of the bullpen, having posted a 2.94 ERA and 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings 58 relief appearances.

Atlanta Braves

On May 23, Matusz and the 76th pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball draft were traded to the Atlanta Braves in return for minor league pitchers Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek. The Braves designated Matusz for assignment shortly after completing the trade. [12] [13]

Chicago Cubs

Shortly after being released by the Braves, the Chicago Cubs signed Matusz to a minor league deal. After being employed solely as a reliever since 2012, the Cubs assigned Matusz to be a starter in the minors. On July 30, 2016, the Cubs called him up to start against the Seattle Mariners on July 31. [14] However, after a poor outing in that game, the Cubs designated him for assignment the very next day. [15] He later cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. [16] Despite the fact he only appeared in one game for the Cubs during their 2016 World Series season, he was given a World Series ring. [17]

Arizona Diamondbacks

Matusz signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a minor league contract for 2017. [18] After struggling in the minors, he was released on May 16, 2017.

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  1. "2008 Season Outlook". CBS College Sports Network. January 29, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Orioles come to terms with first-round pick Brian Matusz". August 15, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  3. Cooper, J.J. (February 23, 2010). "The Complete Top 100 Prospects List". Baseball America . Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  4. The Canadian Press (September 14, 2009). "Orioles decide to shut down rookie lefty Matusz". The Sports Network . Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  5. Eddy, Matt (October 19, 2010). "Future Big League Stars Highlight All-Rookie Team". Baseball America. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
  6. Schmuck, Peter (April 2, 2011). "SchmuckMatusz's injury has Orioles already scrambling". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  7. Zaleon, Avi (June 30, 2011). "Struggling Matusz optioned to Norfolk". Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  8. "Orioles' Brian Matusz out of rotation". Associated Press. September 6, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  9. Ghiroli, Brittany (November 7, 2012). "Matusz on track for Spring Training after surgery".
  11. Kruth, Cash (February 4, 2016). "Orioles avoid arbitration with Matusz". Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  12. Ghiroli, Brittany (May 23, 2016). "O's deal Matusz, improve pitching. On June 14, 2016 the Chicago Cubs signed Matusz to a minor league deal. depth". Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  13. Bowman, Mark (May 23, 2016). "Braves strengthen Draft pool with trade". Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  15. "Cubs Part Ways With LHP Brian Matusz, Recall RHP Spencer Patton". CBS Chicago. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  16. Wray, Miles (2016-08-08). "SP Brian Matusz lands with Triple-A Iowa Cubs". Today's Knuckleball. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  18. Adams, Steve (February 13, 2017). "D-Backs, Brian Matusz Agree To Minor League Deal". MLB Trade Rumors.