Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that Brian Matusz threw a bullpen session today, just one day after from having a wart removed from his left middle finger.
“It feels fine. It doesn’t feel irritated at all. It feels normal. Like I said before, it never affected me on the mound. It didn’t affect any of my pitches. We just wanted to fix it before it became a problem. It felt good. I threw all of my pitches and it was fine. I didn’t feel like I had to hold back at all, so I’m on schedule.”
While it was originally assumed that Matusz would need a few days to recover, Ghiroli writes that it’s increasingly likely that the young southpaw will be available to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday.
Matusz, 24, went 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA over 32 starts last season, including a 2.11 ERA and 52/16 K/BB ratio after August 1. The American League East isn’t an easy place to have success, especially for an extreme fly-ball pitcher, but Matusz is the closest thing the Orioles have to an ace right now.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.
It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.
Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.
Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.