The Orioles were given quite the scare this afternoon.
According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Brian Matusz was getting some work in during a simulated game when he was hit in the left biceps by a comebacker. Matusz was able to escape serious injury — in fact, the Orioles aren’t even sending him for X-rays — but he was only able to throw 29 pitches, which casts some doubt on his availability for Saturday against the Rays.
“I’m optimistic. I don’t even think it is going to set me back at all. If anything, I’m upset about not continuing to get my work in. I was starting to feel good. I was starting to get in a good groove. I wanted to get in a little more work. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow and just go from there. That’s pretty much all you can do.”
This has been an eventful spring for the 24-year-old left-hander. He had a wart removed from his left middle finger earlier this month and was knocked out of his final Grapefruit League start last Wednesday after recording just four outs. The furthest he has pitched into a game this spring is just 4 2/3 innings.
Of course, this will all be rendered meaningless when he tosses six shutout innings on Saturday or something. No, I’m not anxious for the season to start or anything.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.