Until this summer, former major league left-hander Brian Matusz hadn’t pitched professionally since a 17 2/3-inning stint with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017. Matusz is now attempting a comeback, though, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. He joined Monclava of the Mexican League in July and has more recently caught on with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.
Matusz told Kubatko this week that he “needed a break” from baseball, but he’s back after “getting that itch to play again.”
The 32-year-old is best known for his time with the Orioles, who selected him fourth overall in the 2008 draft. Matusz ultimately topped out as Baseball America’s fifth-ranked prospect after the 2009 season, but he never lived up to the billing – at least not as a starter – with the Orioles. From his debut in 2009 through 2012, Matusz struggled to a 5.36 ERA/4.71 FIP with 7.34 K/9 and 3.47 BB/9 over 368 innings (86 appearances, 68 starts). However, he became a full-time reliever thereafter and wound up enjoying a trio of successful seasons.
In 151 2/3 innings from 2013-15, Matusz logged a 3.32 ERA/3.50 FIP and posted 9.44 K/9 against 3.15 BB/9. Unfortunately for Matusz, his career nosedived after that stretch. Matusz opened the 2016 campaign in rough fashion, which helped convince Baltimore to trade him to Atlanta in May, but the Braves designated him for assignment before he ever pitched for them. He then had a brief stint that season as a member of the Cubs, with whom he totaled three innings in the majors, before his fleeting run with Arizona’s top affiliate two years ago.