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Matusz makes Oriole debut today (AFL)


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Keith Law's take on Matusz

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=law_keith

Baltimore's top 2008 pick, left-hander Brian Matusz, threw well in his pro debut Saturday, showing four pitches and cutting a few fastballs for good measure. He threw 90-94 with better command than I've seen from him in the past, and he really commanded his curveball, an 11/5 breaker with very tight rotation. His slider was a little soft and flattened out at the higher end of its range. His delivery is cleaner than it was last summer, and his arm slot looks a shade lower.

Question to Tony...is the cut fastball new??

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Keith Law's take on Matusz

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=law_keith

Question to Tony...is the cut fastball new??

I'm not Tony, but it seems new to me. All reports pre-draft showed his 4 pitches as FB, CB, SL & CHG. I'm not sure if he even messes with 4 and 2 seam fastballs, although he probably could/would/should or has, considering he's a "pitcher" and not just a "thrower".

The game recap makes it sound like his slider was a little inconsistent, that he was changing speeds on it and that the different speeds were showing different breaks. I wonder if maybe they mistook a few harder sliders as cutters. Just a thought, if we're not given any answers regarding whether or not Matusz is picking up a cutter.

My opinion is that he doesn't need one unless his slider stays below average and he thinks he can throw an average or above-average cutter, but I thought I remembered reading that all of Matusz's pitches were at least average (including his slider), but that could be an example of some slight pre-draft hype.

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Good find. It looks like his velocity might be up a tick and he's showing better command than he did last summer! This is very encouraging.

The "better command" portion was a little odd to me. After all, only 26 of his 45 pitches were strikes. I'm not concerned because it's obviously the smallest of sample sizes, but that's not exactly Maddux-esque.

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The "better command" portion was a little odd to me. After all, only 26 of his 45 pitches were strikes. I'm not concerned because it's obviously the smallest of sample sizes, but that's not exactly Maddux-esque.

I took it to mean command in the zone, putting pitches where he wanted and hitting his targets rather than strike to ball ratio.

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