Just two hours prior to Friday night’s opener in Tampa, the warning signs came when it was announced that Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz would not be making today’s start vs. the Rays at Tropicana Field and would be getting an MRI .
And by the time Jeremy Guthrie was leaving the hill after eight scoreless innings on Opening Night, it was apparent that it would be another young gun from the emerging staff who would beginning the season with the Orioles.
Just after the O’s 4-1 win, Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced that young Zach Britton would be recalled from the minors to make his major-league debut Sunday afternoon in Tampa.
Matusz officially has an strain near the left side of his back will miss the first month of the season on the disabled list. He told reporters in Tampa that he can’t throw the ball 10 feet right now, which is never a good sign.
Britton has been dubbed as the “next big thing” by many media observers and baseball insiders. The Orioles had been keeping him in the minors as to not activate his service time, forcing the team to make him arbitration eligible earlier and thereby potentially costing the club millions of dollars if Britton is indeed the pitcher they think he can be.
It’s a rare admission of the club that they’re actually trying to win for a change.
As Orioles fans, we’ll welcome him on Sunday and are excited to watch him work. The only sad part is the fans of Baltimore won’t get to see him pitch the home opener on Monday in Baltimore as the stadium will be full on Opening Day.