Brian Matusz breaks Roy Halladay’s major league record

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But Brian Matusz is having an awful season.  How could he break a Roy Halladay record?

Well, that’s because Roy Halladay once had a pretty terrible season himself.

Starting against the Tigers, Matusz gave up six runs in five innings on Sunday, just slightly increasing his ERA from 10.68 to 10.69.  It’s the worst ERA ever for a pitcher who made at least 10 starts in a season.

1. Brian Matusz (Bal, 2011): 10.69 ERA in 49 2/3 IP
2. Roy Halladay (Tor, 2000): 10.64 ERA in 67 2/3 IP
3. Micah Bowie (Atl/ChC, 1999): 10.24 ERA in 51 IP
4. Aaron Myette (Tex, 2002): 10.06 ERA in 48 1/3 IP
5. Steve Blass (Pit, 1973): 9.85 ERA in 88 2/3 IP
6. Sean Bergmann (Min, 2000): 9.66 ERA in 68 IP
7. Andy Larkin (Fla, 1998): 9.64 ERA in 74 2/3 IP
8. Edgar Gonzalez (Ari, 2004): 9.32 ERA in 46 1/3 IP
9. Todd Van Poppel (Oak/Det, 1996): 9.06 ERA in 99 1/3 IP
10. Bryan Rekar (Col, 1996): 8.95 ERA in 58 1/3 IP

Since Matusz, who averaged barely more than four innings an outing in his 12 starts, came up one-third of an inning short, Halladay still holds the record of highest ERA for anyone with at least 50 innings pitched in a season.  Matusz is the new record holder for guys with 40+ innings.  Stu Flythe of the 1936 Athletics holds the record at 30+.  He had a 13.04 ERA in 39 1/3 innings.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.