Brian Matusz = real deal 

April, 19, 2010
04/19/10
2:46
PM ET
The stats show a 4.34 ERA after three starts, but that doesn't even begin to reflect how good the Baltimore Orioles' Brian Matusz has looked in the early going.

After blowing through the minor leagues last year and not looking overmatched in eight big league starts to end the '09 season, the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft is likely going to take that big step forward that I projected in the spring, or so it appears given the way he has pitched during spring training and the first weeks of the season. In fact, in one of his final spring outings, a game versus the club's Double-A roster, the Orioles wanted Matusz to throw around 100 pitches and work on his delivery from the stretch. Problem was, Matusz wasn't allowing any baserunners. So the innings were extended to five outs, and then the O's finally resorted to just placing runners on base, until Matusz got his pitch count up over a stretch of anywhere from seven to nine innings, depending on how you looked at it. Talk about being dialed in to start the season.

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