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Orioles' Matusz to get another rehab outing, Jones out again and bullpen camera antics

Orioles' Matusz to get another rehab outing, Jones out again and bullpen camera antics
Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz during spring training practice at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Left-handed reliever Brian Matusz will make at least one more rehabilitation appearance after he was rocked for six runs on seven hits in one inning Monday night pitching for Double-A Bowie.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Matusz will pitch for High-A Frederick on Friday, following starter Kevin Gausman, who is also on a rehab assignment. The Orioles are hoping it will be a two- to three-inning outing for Matusz.

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The Orioles hoped to get two or three innings out of Matusz on Monday, but he lasted just one frame after throwing 30 pitches in the first inning. Seven of the first nine hitters Matusz faced hit safely and he allowed a three-run homer.

"Didn't go too well for him," Showalter said. "Velocity was a little better. … His command has been a little bit of an issue for him. It's good to see his stuff get a little better. But he'll have a two- to three-inning stint Friday behind Gausman. In a perfect world, Kevin goes five and he goes… It's like I told Gausman today, 'It's OK if you guys get some people out on these things, too.'"

Showalter said he received reports on Matusz from vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson and special assignment pitching instructor Ramon Martinez, both of whom were in Bowie on Monday, as well as Baysox pitching coach Alan Mills.

"I think there were two bunt hits, there were two ground-ball hits, there was one home run that he got in a bad place he wasn't trying to go," Showalter said.

In three rehab outings, Matusz has allowed seven runs on eight hits over three innings.

Flaherty starts in left field

Playing left field at Fenway Park – and fielding balls off the Green Monster – isn't an easy defensive assignment, but Showalter has trust that utility man Ryan Flaherty can play there.

Flaherty made his eighth career start, and fifth at Fenway Park, in left field Tuesday. His last start in left came last Sept. 26 at Fenway Park. Before then, he didn't make a start in left field since 2012.

"You look at the lineup and see if you're playing," Flaherty said. "I feel pretty comfortable. I've played it before. Just another game."

It didn't hurt that Flaherty, a Maine native, entered Tuesday hitting .389 (7-for-18) against Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz. Flaherty is also a career .375/.420/.542 hitter in 22 games (19 starts) at Fenway Park.

"He's hit well in this park and you're always looking for anybody who might have had any success off of Buchholz," Showalter said. "He played left field here before and he actually played it well last two or three times. … Ryan is always good in New England. … He's been a guy who can play all over."

Showalter said that Flaherty has played Fenway's high left-field wall well in the past.

"If you haven't played it before, a lot of time the depth perception of balls, you think balls are going to hit [the Green Monster] and they don't," Flaherty said. "If you chase it too far into the wall, the ball bounces off. You've just got to read the ball off of the bat and tell right away if it's going to be a double or not."

Jones out of starting lineup again

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Despite entering Monday's game in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement, Adam Jones was out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game Tuesday with a rib cage strain.

Jones is evidently healthy enough to play defense, but he has yet to hit in a game since last Wednesday. Jones said Monday that he'd like to get to the point where the discomfort is completely gone before he gets back into a game to hit.

"Very close to being totally gone," Showalter said. "… Even if it's completely gone and all the stuff we're doing here, there's still another level you go to in a game. It's just a different intensity level, so you be careful not to try it too much and then you can have a setback. I think he's very close and we're being as cautious as you can be about it."

Camera watch

This season, Fenway Park installed monitors in both dugouts that show live camera feeds from both bullpens so teams can see who is warming up.

But the Orioles covered the camera in their bullpen during Monday's game, NESN cameras showed.

When asked Tuesday, Showalter said he didn't know anything about the camera being covered.

"They did?" Showalter said. "I would tell you if I knew about it, but I'll find out. … I don't know. I'll find out and ask them if they did and ask them why and I'll tell you."

Around the horn

Designated hitter Jimmy Paredes took live batting practice off coaches without any setbacks Tuesday, a significant step in his recovery from a left wrist strain he suffered early in spring training. … Left-hander Zach Britton converted his 76th career save Monday, tying him with left-hander Randy Myers for the sixth most in club history.

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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