Matusz returns to Carolina League, Simon update

FREDERICK. Md. - The Single-A Frederick Keys are done taking batting practice and have returned to the home clubhouse at Harry Grove Stadium.

The players wear shorts during pregame workouts. Maybe the Orioles should consider doing the same on those really humid days.

Brian Matusz is scheduled to throw 55-60 pitches against the Potomac Nationals. The Orioles want him to go at least four innings so he'll get enough "ups," but it depends on his pitch count.

I'm told that Matusz is excited to be here. It sure beats extended spring training.

Reporters will talk to Matusz a few minutes after he comes out of the game. We won't have to wait until the end.

I drove through two heavy but very brief storms on my way here. Twice, I thought I had taken a detour through a car wash, but the rain never reached the ballpark. Here's hoping that it doesn't arrive until Matusz is done. He doesn't need any more setbacks.

Matusz began his professional career with the Keys in 2009 and went 4-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 11 starts, with 21 walks and 75 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.

Here's the Keys lineup:
Steve Bumbry RF
Buck Britton 2B
LJ Hoes LF
Tyler Townsend 1B
Tyler Kolodny DH
Miguel Abreu CF
Dale Mollenhauer 3B
Brian Ward C
Garabez Rosa SS

Brian Matusz LHP

Matusz and Hoes have a lot of catching up to do. You'll recall that Hoes hit the line drive that nailed Matusz on the left arm during a simulated game on one of the back fields at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

Meanwhile, Alfredo Simon was supposed to pitch for Triple-A Norfolk tonight, but those plans changed when he was required to return to the Dominican Republic. Simon arrived on Saturday, and the Orioles don't know when he'll return to the U.S.

We're told that Simon has to tie up some loose ends related to his two-month incarceration. Though never charged with a crime, Simon was the primary suspect in the shooting death of his cousin on New Years Day. He eventually was granted bail and obtained his work visa, and he made two starts for Double-A Bowie on his injury rehab assignment.

We're approaching the deadline for the Orioles to remove Simon from the restricted list and place him on the 25-man roster, or attempt to pass him through waivers and outright him to Triple-A. It's believed that they'll have to make a decision by May 22.

I posted the Orioles' lineup earlier today. If you want Boston's lineup, here it is:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
David Ortiz DH
J.D. Drew RF
Jed Lowrie SS
Carl Crawford LF
Jason Varitek C

Daisuke Matsuzaka P

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