Orioles option struggling lefty Brian Matusz to Triple-A

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As first reported by Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have demoted Brian Matusz to Triple-A Norfolk following another disastrous outing.

Matusz was shelled for eight earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings on Thursday night against the Cardinals.

The 24-year-old surrendered six earned runs in only 4 2/3 innings last week against the Reds and has allowed a total of 25 earned runs in 25 1/3 frames since returning from a lengthy early-season stay on the disabled list with an intercostal strain.

Matusz registered a 7-3 record, 3.63 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over his final 14 starts in 2010 and the Orioles were hoping for more of the same this year. But his fastball is down over 3 mph and his offspeed stuff is no longer fooling major league hitters.

Matusz is a great talent with a bright future in Baltimore, but something has clearly gone wrong.