Is Brian Matusz the answer for the bullpen?

By Ryan Punzalan

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported late last night that the Orioles are still open to trading left-handed reliever, Brian Matusz.

The Mets have been linked to Matusz since they lost Josh Edgin to Tommy John Surgery. With Dillon Gee shifting back to the rotation, as Terry Collins stated earlier this week, Rafael Montero will most likely take his place. But Montero, a righty, doesn’t exactly help aide the lack of lefties in the bullpen.

Would a trade with the Orioles be helpful for the Mets without hurting their future?

Matusz was once one of the highest rated prospect in the Orioles farm system, if not the whole major leagues. He pitched lights out in the minors and during his first season in the majors, but his performance declined rapidly in the following seasons.

He suffered injuries in 2011 and was demoted to the bullpen at the end of the 2012 season, where he is achieving moderate success. As a reliever,  Matusz is 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 146 games played in his career. He struck out 122 batters and only walked 36.

Matusz would come over as a left-handed specialist and his numbers prove he’s able to do the job. Versus left-handed hitting, Matusz has held batters to a .211 batting average with a .620 OPS. In 607 plate appearances against him, he struck out 179 batters and walked only 37.

What would it take to acquire Matusz? One would assume a lower A, or AA prospect would be the start. Rosenthal also says that the Orioles would be willing to include some cash in the deal to soften up the $3.2 million that Matusz is owed for this year.


A few lower ranked prospects for the once #5 rated prospect by Baseball America in 2010? For me? It’s a no brainer. Matusz has shown that he doesn’t have the stamina and stuff to be a starter, but he’s shown that he can be successful in the bullpen.

Matusz is susceptible to giving big innings, but when he’s on, he’s on. Last season he had two streaks of 12 straight appearances without giving up a run.

The Mets need left-handed pitching and Matusz, while a big fish to catch, would be a great name to obtain.

Let’s face it. The lefties in spring training right now are not impressing and it would be a disaster for the Mets to not have any effective left-handed pitchers in the bullpen when Opening Day comes along.

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