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Matusz stepping up for Orioles in new role


Matusz stepping up for Orioles in new role

Brian Matusz has re-invented himself in a short period of time.
He spent much of 2012 working as a struggling starter. The left-hander had a 5-10 record and a 5.42 ERA in 16 starts before being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on July 1. Matusz worked on a lot with the Tides and when the Orioles recalled him on Aug. 24, they moved the left-hander into the bullpen.
Now, hes become a weapon for manager Buck Showalter. That showed up again Monday night as Matusz helped the Orioles edge the Yankees, 3-2, in Game 2 of their ALDS before a sold-out and rocking Camden Yards.
He came on with two outs in the seventh inning and got Nick Swisher to end the inning. Matusz had to intentionally walk Robinson Cano and threw a wild pitch that put runners on second and third before Swisher flied out. Matusz wound up throwing 1 13 scoreless innings.
Matusz said he now considers himself a relief pitcher. The left-hander now has pitched in both games versus the Yankees. Hes thrown 2 13 scoreless innings, struck out four and walked two (one intentionally) and been very effective throughout. Matusz ended the regular season with a 1.35 ERA in 18 games, stranding all 14 runners
Im just rolling with it and having fun with it, Matusz said. Right now, being in the playoffs, coming out with a big win here, doesnt get much more fun than that.
Matusz said that being a relief pitcher now makes him do some things differently, but it hasnt been any problem. He just comes to the park every day waiting to be ready to pitch if Showalter calls on him.
Im still the same guy, Matusz said. Just getting the work and the experience out there at the end of the regular season and just carrying it over to the post-season. I want to keep this thing rolling. Its nice to be able to have good outings. My focus is on the next game, to be ready when Buck calls on me.
Catcher Matt Wieters said Matusz really hasnt changed much. Hes just in a different situation now, which kind of makes him alter how he does some things, but the catcher likes what hes seen of Matusz in late innings.
He comes out there with the right mind-set, Wieters said. He comes out there ready to go, and sort of laying everything on the line for one inning. He's going out there and using all his stuff. Brian, even when he was starting and not throwing as well against everybody, still pitched well against left-handers.
Thats been the key role for Matusz, shutting down left-handers. Hes now also shutting down some right-handers, using his good control to make good pitches all the time and working with Darren ODay to kind of take over the set-up role from a struggling Pedro Strop.
Strop had been serving as the set-up guy for Jim Johnson for much of the season before having trouble in September. Now, the combination of ODay and Matusz has been working nicely for the Orioles in that spot in the several games last few weeks, especially during these early playoff games.
ODays been tough against right-handed batters like Alex Rodriguez, whom the submariner struck out again in this game. Matusz then comes in often against lefties and takes care of them.
As a reliever, my focus now is just come in, attack the zone, throw strikes and throw my best stuff, Matusz said. Its a lot more fun coming to work every day knowing I have the possibility of getting in.
And finding success.

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hecticfew weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

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Baltimore Orioles add to their rotation, sign RHP Andrew Cashner

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles signed right-hander Andrew Cashner to a two-year, $16 million contract on Thursday after searching for starting pitching all offseason.

The 31-year-old Cashner is 42-64 with a 3.80 ERA in eight major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, San Diego, Miami and Texas, including 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA for the Rangers last year. The deal with the Orioles has an option for 2020.

He'll join right-handers Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in the rotation.

"I do know that they need some starting pitching, and here it is, show up every day and whoever I can help out, help out and my job is to come here and pitch and win," Cashner said.

Cashner's deal could be worth $41 million over three seasons if he pitches 200 innings annually. He gets a $3 million signing bonus, payable in equal installments each Jan. 15 from 2020 through 2021.


Cashner has salaries of $5 million this season and $8 million in 2019, and there is a $10 million option for 2020 that would become guaranteed if he pitches 340 innings combined in the next two seasons. If he reaches 360 innings, it would become a player option.

He can make $5 million in performance bonuses each year.

There are $1,525,000 per season in bonuses based on starts: $250,000 each for 10 and 15, $625,000 for 20 and $400,000 for 30.

Cashner also can make $3,475,000 each year based on innings: $250,000 each for 110 and 120, $275,000 for 130, $350,000 for 140, $750,000 for 150 and $400,000 apiece for 170, 180, 190 and 200.

Cashner was at the Orioles' spring training facility, and was due to head to his Texas home for a few days before returning on Sunday when Baltimore's full squad is required to report. He'll likely work out with the team for the first time Monday.

He has little experience against the Orioles, but said he was excited to join the team.

"It's a lineup you can't really make a lot of mistakes against," Cashner said. "It's a lot of power in there, and I got to pitch (for) San Diego one year in Baltimore. Really cool stadium, really neat, a lot of history. It's one of my favorite places to pitch, so I'm looking forward to making that my home (stadium) every night."


Manager Buck Showalter said Cashner would be an ideal addition to the club.

"He's a veteran starter. That's a good deal for both us and him," Showalter said. "He's a guy who's pitched well in the American League. That's something that I think played in his favor."

Cashner said that he began negotiations with Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson last fall and in a challenging offseason for free agents, he said patience was vital.

"I don't think it's been difficult. It's been interesting. It's been different," Cashner said.

To make room for Cashner on the 40-man roster, Baltimore placed left-hander Zach Britton (Achilles) on the 60-day disabled list.