Brian Matusz is a liability in the bullpen
By Mike Franz
Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Orioles’ bullpen was a strong point for the team throughout the 2014 season and well into the Postseason. However, there were some blemishes in their bullpen; one of which being Brian Matusz.
The 2014 season was his second full season pitching in relief. Well into the 2012 season, manager Buck Showalter made the decision to change Matusz from starter into reliever.
In four seasons as a starter, Matusz never had a season with an ERA lower than 4.30. Despite his ERA going down a bit, Matusz has still experienced some inconsistency in the reliever role.
In 2014, Matusz had a 3.48 ERA which was the third-worst among Orioles relievers (who pitched in at least 15 games). He also struck out 53 batters which was the fourth-best among Orioles relievers. He also had a 1.32 WHIP (third-worst of Baltimore relievers) and a 17 walks (fourth-worst of Baltimore relievers).
Matusz was one of the Baltimore relievers who fans did not know they were going to get. He was either lights out or he was going to self-implode. Matusz usually was brought in to face one batter who he pitched well against. One example of this was when he was always brought in the later innings of the Red Sox games to face designated hitter, David Ortiz.
On the bright side of things, Matusz’s 2014 ERA was the lowest of his Major League career. His offspeed pitches are his most successful pitches. His curveball has so much movement that it “paralyzes” batters. His fastball is in the lower 90s. Matusz gets his outs mostly from either strikeouts or ground outs.
Hopefully, Matusz will turn from what was a liability in 2014 into a lockdown reliever in 2015.