Brian Matusz not close to making 2011 debut

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Orioles starter Brian Matusz has been on the disabled list since spring training concluded due to an intercostal muscle strain.

The 2011 season is over two weeks old now and Matusz isn’t anywhere close to returning.

According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the left-hander is still working out at the Orioles’ spring training complex and has not been cleared to begin throwing bullpen sessions. That likely means that he’s at least three weeks away from taking a mound in the major leagues.

O’s manager Buck Showalter told the Sun that Matusz is only feeling mild discomfort, so they could rush him through his rehab if they wanted. But Showalter and Co. aren’t going to risk it with one of their most promising young pitchers. Caution is the way.

Matusz, 24, managed a 3.63 ERA and 63/25 K/BB ratio in 72 innings after the All-Star break last season.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.