Matusz on the mound

In case you're having trouble keeping track of all the starting times on this road trip, today's game in Seattle begins at 3:40 p.m. on the East Coast.

Welcome back, Brian Matusz.

I've written this before, but I can't believe it's been two months since Matusz was supposed to make his 2011 debut at Tropicana Field. It was April 2, to be exact, and Matusz was inconsolable after being scratched from his start, sent for an MRI and placed on the disabled list.

A wart, a line drive off his left arm and a strained intercostal muscle. Matusz needed a strong gust of wind to move that black cloud over his head.

Five open dates this month, the first coming tomorrow, means a four-man rotation for a while. And I'm pretty excited about Matusz, Jeremy Guthrie, Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta.

Let Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen battle it out at Triple-A Norfolk. Maybe Alfredo Simon fills that fifth spot in the two games this month that the Orioles need the extra starter, impresses the way he did Monday in Oakland and stays in the rotation.

The Mariners are the only American League team that Matusz has never faced. He's 15-14 with a 4.37 ERA in his 40 career starts, and the Orioles are 21-19 in those outings. He's 9-6 with a 4.69 ERA in 21 road starts, and the Orioles are 12-9 in those games.

A corresponding roster move must be made. Chris Jakubauskas or Pedro Viola figure to be sent packing.

I'll pass along the lineup once the Orioles pass it along to me. Hopefully, with Adam Jones healthy, the wait won't be quite as long.

In case you missed it, manager Buck Showalter told reporters in Seattle that first baseman Derrek Lee will take live batting practice today in Sarasota. Lee could begin his injury rehab assignment this weekend at Double-A Bowie, which will host New Britain.

I'll assume that Lee will bat third upon his return to the Orioles' lineup, which will bump Nick Markakis to second unless Showalter likes Jones in that spot.

And finally, that Professor of Posts ad on MASN never gets old, no matter what my friends tell me.

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