Matusz back on major league mound

Isn't it nice to have the 2011 First-Year Player Draft behind us?

No more speculation on who the Orioles will select. No more speculation on who they will sign. It's finally done.

I would have settled for the Orioles reaching agreement with Dylan Bundy and one of the other two Top 10 picks - Jason Esposito or Nick Delmonico. Getting all three was a nice haul.

It's unfortunate that Bundy fell short of the $30 million signing bonus that he sought after the Orioles drafted him, but an 18-year-old kid shouldn't be ashamed that he's only making a guaranteed $6.25 million. He can always get a second job or continue to receive his allowance.

Brian Matusz, the fourth-overall pick in 2008 who received a $3.2 million signing bonus, returns to the Orioles' rotation tonight. He's hoping to cash in on his latest opportunity.

(You saw what I did there. I won't even ask.)

Matusz is 1-4 with an 8.77 ERA in six starts. He's allowed 40 hits, walked 11 and served up nine home runs in 25 2/3 innings. He's also chafed manager Buck Showalter by failing to hold runners.

I'm not sure what the rules are regarding a do-over or a mulligan, but Matusz would like a fresh start tonight. And a quality one.

When you've struggled this badly, it's hard to find splits that favor you. Left-handers are batting .346 against Matusz. Right-handers are batting .360.

He's 2-2 with a 5.48 ERA in four career starts against the Athletics, with 14 earned runs, 30 hits, five walks and 17 strikeouts in 23 innings. They're batting .309 against him.

Matusz's only victory this season came against the A's in his second start after coming off the disabled list. He allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 4-2 win.

Adam Rosales is 3-for-11 against Matusz, but that includes two homers and six RBIs. However, he was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento three days ago.

Matusz already has caught a break. Must be the mulligan.

The Orioles will have to make a roster move to clear room for Matusz. Showalter wanted to make sure he didn't dig too deeply into his bullpen last night before committing to one. A reliever could be sent out.

Showalter also said something to reporters about making sure "nagging injuries" didn't expand to where the club must worry more about them. He seemed to be indicating that the disabled list could come into play.

I'm not sure which players he's referencing. Third baseman Josh Bell had a CT scan on his left side that came back negative, and he started at third base last night. First baseman Chris Davis was kept out of the lineup in part because of a sore right shoulder.

Davis was walking around the clubhouse again Sunday with an ice pack on his shoulder. Whatever he's dealing with, it's not going away.

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