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Jason Grey on Matusz


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So where does Matusz begin the season next year? Last year, O's pitcher Jake Arrieta made his pro debut at the AFL and didn't allow an earned run, then spent the whole season at high Class A despite pitching well. However, Matusz has a more advanced feel for pitching and better overall command than Arrieta, and it wouldn't be a stretch to see Matusz start right at Double-A and advance quickly through the minors. He's a very polished pitcher right now, and he looks like he'll eventually be a No. 2 starter in the big leagues.

I really hope they don't waste his time at Frederick if he continues to shine in the AFL.

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I really hope they don't waste his time at Frederick if he continues to shine in the AFL.

Agree. As many have stated, he's definitely more polished than Arrieta was at this point. One thing that I find interesting is that they limited Jake to relief work in Arizona and Matusz is starting. Not that I think that Arrieta is a reliever, just that they seemed to think that Matusz was more prepared to start in Arizona. So, they may also believe that he's more prepared to start his first full season in Bowie. That's my hope, anyway. Erbe and Arrieta are both likely to start at Bowie and I think Matusz is already at or above their levels, certainly as far as Erbe is concerned.

I'll also be interested in seeing what they do with Albers and Patton next season. Trembley said he thought Albers should be given a shot as a starter, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him start the season in Norfolk, depending on free agent starting pitcher signings, what we do with Cabrera, and everyone's (Olson, Liz, Penn, primarily) spring training.

Finally, if Albers and Patton start for Norfolk, and one or both of Liz or Olson join them, along with Tillman, and any of Bergesen, Berken or Hernandez fall in with them, that could be a pretty dominant AAA rotation. I'm not sold on either of Liz or Olson as ML starters, at this point, but their certainly capable of kicking AAA hitters butts. Folks in Norfolk and Bowie should have some interesting games this season.

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I second this opinion. They need to start him in Bowie. Should of started Wieters in Bowie also.

There is never a "need" to start a college pitcher out at AA the spring after being drafted. It is very uncommon. I'm not sure I can think of five college pitchers in the past 10 years who started at AA so saying this is a "need" is either a poor choice of words or a request to push this pitcher faster than all but a couple of pitchers in many years.

There is nothing wrong with starting him off at Frederick to have success and get his feet wet as long as he gets promoted to Bowie when it is deserved.

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There is never a "need" to start a college pitcher out at AA the spring after being drafted. It is very uncommon. I'm not sure I can think of five college pitchers in the past 10 years who started at AA so saying this is a "need" is either a poor choice of words or a request to push this pitcher faster than all but a couple of pitchers in many years.

There is nothing wrong with starting him off at Frederick to have success and get his feet wet as long as he gets promoted to Bowie when it is deserved.

FWIW, even David Price started in A+ so you are right in what you say. But shouldn't the experience Matusz is getting now in the AFL count for something? Let's say he throws 25-30 innings in the AFL and keeps his ERA under 3.00 with very good peripherals. With that experience, and knowing what his arsenal is, wouldn't you think he could skip straight to AA?

By the way, Mike Mussina went straight from college to AA the same summer he was drafted. He's an example of a guy who not only was talented, but had an advanced repetoire of pitches that he could command. I'm hoping we can put Matusz in that category.

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There is never a "need" to start a college pitcher out at AA the spring after being drafted. It is very uncommon. I'm not sure I can think of five college pitchers in the past 10 years who started at AA so saying this is a "need" is either a poor choice of words or a request to push this pitcher faster than all but a couple of pitchers in many years.

There is nothing wrong with starting him off at Frederick to have success and get his feet wet as long as he gets promoted to Bowie when it is deserved.

This is where people took exception with Arrieta's placement. I think it may have had more to do with a full rotation at Bowie than thinking Arrieta wasn't ready.

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This is where people took exception with Arrieta's placement. I think it may have had more to do with a full rotation at Bowie than thinking Arrieta wasn't ready.

That, and Arrieta was pulled out of Frederick with about a quarter of the season left to play in the Olympics. I really have no problem with how they handled Arrieta last season.

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This is where people took exception with Arrieta's placement. I think it may have had more to do with a full rotation at Bowie than thinking Arrieta wasn't ready.
That, and Arrieta was pulled out of Frederick with about a quarter of the season left to play in the Olympics. I really have no problem with how they handled Arrieta last season.

There were times, however, where there were opportunities to move Arrieta up. Chris Waters started the year at Bowie but was promoted after a few weeks, and Arrieta could have been chosen to replace him, but Bergesen got promoted instead. Chorye Spoone started the year in the Bowie rotation, but had a stint on the DL begining in late April, and Zack Clark was tapped to take his place instead of Arrieta. (I might have the order reversed here, it could have been that Bergesen replaced Spoone and Clark replaced Waters.) Then Spoone went on the DL again in early July, a few weeks before Arrieta left for the Olympics. So, if they had really wanted to push Arrieta along, they could have.

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Agree. As many have stated, he's definitely more polished than Arrieta was at this point. One thing that I find interesting is that they limited Jake to relief work in Arizona and Matusz is starting. Not that I think that Arrieta is a reliever, just that they seemed to think that Matusz was more prepared to start in Arizona. So, they may also believe that he's more prepared to start his first full season in Bowie. That's my hope, anyway. Erbe and Arrieta are both likely to start at Bowie and I think Matusz is already at or above their levels, certainly as far as Erbe is concerned.

I'll also be interested in seeing what they do with Albers and Patton next season. Trembley said he thought Albers should be given a shot as a starter, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him start the season in Norfolk, depending on free agent starting pitcher signings, what we do with Cabrera, and everyone's (Olson, Liz, Penn, primarily) spring training.

Finally, if Albers and Patton start for Norfolk, and one or both of Liz or Olson join them, along with Tillman, and any of Bergesen, Berken or Hernandez fall in with them, that could be a pretty dominant AAA rotation. I'm not sold on either of Liz or Olson as ML starters, at this point, but their certainly capable of kicking AAA hitters butts. Folks in Norfolk and Bowie should have some interesting games this season.

The rotation at Norfolk will be Tillman, Hernandez, Berken, Bergesen and Patton. Albers will be in the rotation or bullpen with Orioles, while Liz and Olson have nothing to prove in AAA. They need to get it done in Baltimore, if not then, I hate to say but cut them loose. They can't be wasting spots in Norfolk because the next batch of pitchers will be ready for their shot, then you have the next batch waiting in the wings.

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If Olson struggles out of the gate, I move him to the pen as a long-guy. If Liz struggles, I send him to Norfolk to close and give him some experience in that role. No reason to just cut two young guys loose before you put them in a bunch of different situations and see if they can find success in one of them. Our pitching is getting deeper, but not deep enough to just discard a few young arms.

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Since 1998, here are the only guys I could find who were drafted and started at AA or higher:

Mark Mulder (started at AAA)

Mark Prior

Dewon Brazelton

There were a few, like Luke Hochevar, Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Ben Sheets who signed early enough to pitch a little the same year they were drafted and pitched a few innings of A ball, moving to AA at the start of the year after they were drafted.

So hooisers is correct, starting a guy at AA is very rare even when he's a high 1st round pick out of college.

Here are some college guys who were top 10 picks who started lower:

David Price

David Moskos

Ross Detwiler

Andrew Miller

Mike Pelfrey

Justin Verlander

Phliip Humber

Jeremy Sowers

Tim Stauffer

Paul Maholm

Bryan Bullington

Jeff Francis

John Van Benschoten

Adam Johnson

Justin Wayne

Kyle Snyder

Barry Zito

Ben Sheets

Jeff Austin

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If Olson struggles out of the gate, I move him to the pen as a long-guy. If Liz struggles, I send him to Norfolk to close and give him some experience in that role. No reason to just cut two young guys loose before you put them in a bunch of different situations and see if they can find success in one of them. Our pitching is getting deeper, but not deep enough to just discard a few young arms.

Yea, maybe cutting lose was to strong of wording. I quess what I meant was not occupying a starting role. Using Liz in that capacity would be the way to go and then and only then if it failed then I quess then we have used all our options.

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