The Orioles began their current six-game road trip with many believing it would tell us a lot about what we need to know about the 2012 Birds. Baltimore's early-season success could be discounted by a favorable schedule early on, but road series in New York and Boston would be better indicators of the Orioles' staying power.
Guess we'll have to wait awhile to find out just how important Tuesday night's game was to the future of left-hander Brian Matusz, but I'm guessing everyone will look back on it as a huge turning point in his young career.
By the end of Tuesday night, Orioles manager Buck Showalter had reached the 1,000-win milestone, left-hander Brian Matusz had sidestepped club infamy and designated hitter Nick Johnson had finally exhaled.
Over the past three nights, the Orioles bullpen might have had its finest moments of this young season. Without closer Jim Johnson, who spent the last three nights hospitalized with flu-like symptoms and a bacterial infection, the other relievers sparkled in his absence.
This weekend, while the Orioles were in Anaheim, Calif., playing the Los Angeles Angels, executive vice president Dan Duquette met with Jones' agent, Nez Balelo, who is based primarily out of Los Angeles.
With every new indignity, it becomes harder and harder to make the case that Brian Matusz has taken a large step forward this season, even though his velocity has returned and he is showing flashes of his old command.
Brian Matusz saw his one-run lead crumble and then watch from the dugout as the Blue Jays rocked reliever Kevin Gregg in a seven-run sixth inning, handing the Orioles an ugly 9-2 defeat at the Rogers Centre.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he didn¿t really consider giving Mark Reynolds a day off of third base after his rough start Tuesday, in which he made a key error that allowed the Yankees back into a game they eventually won, 5-4.
Now that Orioles fans have had some time to digest left-hander Brian Matusz's 2012 debut, let's really take a look at the pluses and minuses of his outing against the Yankees, a 6-2 loss, on Monday night.
New Orioles baseball operations chief Dan Duquette is fond of saying that "the proof is in the pudding," which raises an important question as the Orioles head into their second series of the regular season: What if the pudding is wearing pinstripes?
Orioles manager Buck Showalter put the team through it's final spring workout on Thursday at Oriole Park and declared the team to be in much better shape than it was at the start of the 2011 season. That may not be saying all that much, but remember that the major headline coming out of the final workout last spring at Tropicana Field was that Brian Matusz would have to start the season on the disabled list. There are some DL guys this year, but there were no late surprises.
Darren O'Day and Troy Patton are in and Zach Phillips is out as the Orioles finalized their Opening Day roster. The Orioles set their rotation behind Jake Arrieta. Minor league catcher Brian Ward was suspended 50 games for violating MLB's drug policy.