BALTIMORE –- Brian Matusz arrived in the Orioles clubhouse Saturday afternoon. He’s serving the final game of his eight-game suspension for having a foreign substance on his arm. Matusz can’t be on the bench or in the bullpen on Saturday night, but will be activated on Sunday.
Matusz appealed the suspension, and had hoped to get it reduced. Milwaukee’s Will Smith had his eight-game suspension reduced to six games.
He didn’t directly comment on the suspension.
“They said eight games so it’s eight games,” Matusz said. “Will Smith. I’m not going to say what I really want to say, but no. No, Will Smith he lucked out. He got the better end of the deal.”
Manager Buck Showalter said he was never given a reason for the failure to reduce Matusz’s suspension.
During his suspension, Matusz went to Sarasota, Fla. and threw twice in extended spring training games. He should be rested and ready to pitch Sunday.
“You see how he comes out of spring training when he starts out with a changeup and he pitches multiple innings every outing, so I’m confident we’re going to get pretty sharp guy tomorrow. I hope so. He’ll get a chance to pitch,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s as ready to pitch as anybody. He’s ready to go.”
In their first seven games without him, the Orioles are 6-1.
“Yeah, we’ve been awesome. It’s a lot better feeling being in Florida and watching the games and seeing that, that we’re winning ballgames and that we’re playing well. The bullpen’s been clutch,” Matusz said.
He admits that he felt awful about having the Orioles playing a man short in his absence.
“Absolutely, it’s a terrible feeling, the bullpen, fortunately, has been doing a great job. Hopefully, I’ll be activated tomorrow and pick up some of the slack. It’s great to see that were turning a corner and winning ballgames. It’s been a frustrating last couple weeks so just the fact that we are winning is a good feeling.”
Matusz will use rosin because it’s been cleared, and Showalter will continue campaigning for balls that can be gripped easier.
“It’s a legal substance. We were told you can’t put it on your arms, but I guess you can, depending on how much you’re sweating,” Showalter said.
“They’ll fix it. I think they’ll fix it this offseason. It’s been a problem for a while.”