Brian Matusz

Brian Matusz

37-Year-Old PitcherP
 Free Agent  
2024 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Brian Matusz in 2024. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor-league contract with the Diamondbacks in February of 2017. Released by the Diamondbacks in May of 2017.
Released by Arizona
PFree Agent  
May 16, 2017
Matusz was released by the Diamondbacks last week, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.
ANALYSIS
Matusz appeared in 11 games for Triple-A Reno, compiling a 6.11 ERA and 13:5 K:BB over 17.2 innings. The 30-year-old, who made eight appearances at the big-league level with the Orioles and Cubs a season ago, will aim to land another minor-league deal with a new organization.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Brian Matusz See More
Farm Futures: Top 10 Pitching Prospects Of The Decade
December 17, 2019
James Anderson ranks the best pitching prospects of the decade, featuring some cautionary tales mixed in with established aces like Stephen Strasburg.
FanDuel MLB: Sunday Value Plays
July 31, 2016
Chris Bennett thinks youth will be served, as Nomar Mazara is just one of four rookies providing strong value at their price tags on Sunday's slate.
AL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
April 24, 2016
Clay Link takes us through some AL waiver-wire candidates for this week, including a pair of Red Sox starting pitchers and a handful of Blue Jays infielders.
Collette Calls: AL Closers in Waiting
February 2, 2016
Jason Collette looks at the stats to break down each American League bullpen to find the likely next man up for each team this season.
Thursday Lineup Card: Late Season Outfield Help in Altherr
September 30, 2015
Aaron Altherr is fighting for a roster spot next season for the Phillies and offers a solid power/speed combo down the stretch.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2012
2011
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2009
The Orioles toyed with the idea of returning Matusz to being a starter last spring before opting to stick with him in the bullpen, where he had another productive season. Matusz was particularly deadly against left-handers, holding them to a .185 batting average with 38 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. On the season, Matusz upped his strikeout rate to 10.3 percent, which put him in double digits for the first time in his career. Matusz had offseason shoulder surgery on his non-throwing shoulder and he should enter spring training with a clean bill of health. The Orioles will likely enter spring training with depth in the bullpen, which could factor into the Orioles' exploring the idea of making Matusz a starter once again. He has also been tied to trade talks in the past, which could come to a front given Matusz's impending free agency.
When the Orioles made Matusz the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft, expectations were understandably high. Even then, if you had the thought that a converted left-handed starter would take over as the team's closer in 2014, Matusz surely would have been that closer rather than Zach Britton. Nevertheless, it was Britton who locked down the ninth inning while the Orioles secured their AL East title, and Matusz was part of the bridge to the ninth inning for the second straight season. In two years as a reliever, Matusz has fanned a batter per inning while posting a slightly lower walk rate than he did as a starter. There are still flaws, however, including his flyball tendencies in a park that bolsters right-handed power, and in his struggles against righties overall (.275/.351/.525). Perhaps something clicked in the second half, as Matusz held the opposition to a .192/.344/.346 line over 19 innings after the All-Star break, but in an era where a LOOGY can land a three-year, $15 million deal, Matusz could find plenty of long-term security even if he doesn't solve righties.
Matusz has transitioned from a failed starter to one of the better left-handed relievers in the league. The Orioles may still be disappointed given Matusz was once a No. 4 overall draft pick who breezed through the minors and 51 good innings in 2013 does not provide much bang for the buck. At the request of Matusz, he will compete as a starter in spring training. There is sleeper potential for Matusz if he is a starter, but the Orioles may realize they are best served with him out of the bullpen. Further, his splits against righties, who hit .302/.375/.372 against him last season, reveal a major potential pitfall if he's overexposed in a multiple-inning role with a move back into the rotation.
There was a time that Matusz was supposed to be the crown jewel among several top flight pitching prospects in Baltimore's system. Instead Matusz followed a horrendous 2011 with a subpar first half in 2012. After he lost five games in a row, Matusz was sent down and converted to be a reliever that the Orioles could use down the stretch. Matusz flourished in the role, allowing three runs in 24 appearances spanning 18 innings, including the playoffs, where he threw in all six games. Now the Orioles have a decision to make - attempt to return Matusz to the rotation or continue to use him as a lefty specialist. There will be starters in spring training that had better seasons as a starter than Matusz, so he will really need to wow the coaching staff if he plans on returning to the rotation.
Most Orioles pitchers had a down year in 2011; Matusz completely imploded. The 24-year-old set the single-season record for highest ERA (minimum 40 IP), posting a 10.69 ERA in 12 starts with the Orioles. His mid-90s fastball devolved into a high-80s cookie and hitters routinely teed off. Matusz allowed an unreal 18 home runs in 12 short starts. Injuries may have been the culprit, however, as he battled an intercostal strain early in the year and experienced hamstring trouble soon after returning from the disabled list. It seems like Matusz may be back to Triple-A for 2012 to work out the kinks - he'll need to regain the velocity to recoup his top prospect status.
On the surface, Matusz's season looks pretty mediocre, but keep in mind that he posted a league average ERA as a rookie in the AL East while pitching for a sub-.500 team. His strikeout rate dipped to 7.3 K/9IP innings pitched, and his walk rate went up 3.2 BB/9IP. Some adjustments have to be made both due to the level of competition and his lack of experience (remember, he skipped Triple-A entirely after pitching just 51.2 innings at Double-A Bowie). But when you look at Matusz's numbers, consider the steps that fellow division pitchers Clay Buchholz and Phil Hughes had to take before they reached their current level. Matusz has another level to reach, even if he doesn't quite get there in 2011.
The top pitching talent in the 2008 draft, Matusz started the season in High-A, moved to Double-A, and skipped Triple-A altogether in his rise to the Orioles. He finally showed growing pains in Baltimore, but closed the season with three strong starts. Matusz has four pitches that can be effective at the major league level and having last season under his belt should pay dividends in the long run. Don't expect a painless transition, but there is no finer rookie pitcher to bank on in 2010.
The second overall pick in the 2008 draft, Matusz was regarded by many to be the top talent available. He should also be ready for the majors sooner than most of his peers. He had a good but not great season in the Arizona Fall League and will probably start the year at High-A, with a good chance of moving through the system quickly. Don't bank on a debut this season, but he should get a chance in Baltimore by 2010. Matusz will be among the top pitchers taken in most keeper leagues.
More Fantasy News
Redirected to minors
PArizona Diamondbacks  
March 24, 2017
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Signs minor-league contract with Arizona
PArizona Diamondbacks  
February 13, 2017
Matusz signed a minor-league contract with the Diamondbacks on Monday, Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports reports.
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Opts for free agency
PFree Agent  
August 8, 2016
Matusz elected free agency Thursday after being outrighted from the Cubs' 40-man roster, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.
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Designated for assignment Monday
PChicago Cubs  
August 1, 2016
After getting roughed up by the Mariners in his first start Sunday, Matusz was designated for assignment by the Cubs on Monday, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
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Done in by long ball in first Cubs start
PChicago Cubs  
August 1, 2016
Matusz didn't factor into the decision Sunday versus the Mariners, giving up six earned runs on six hits and two walks over three innings. He struck out two.
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