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Brian Matusz / LHP / starter

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Matusz, a lefthander, was the fourth overall selection in the 2008 amateur draft. He signed late, and didn't make his first professional appearance until 2009. Matusz then reached the major leagues after just 19 minor league starts. He's young, and he looks younger, staring at home plate from underneath his flat-brimmed O's hat.

Matusz shot through the Orioles system with a low-mid 90s fastball that gets some classic lefthander's tailing action. In his two major league starts, his fastball has consistently flown between 91-93 MPH, touching 94 a few times, and 89-90 MPH a couple times while pitching out of the stretch. He attempts to work the corners with this pitch, including inside to RHs.

Matusz seems to use his changeup as his second pitch. It travels with the same movement of his fastball, just 10 MPH slower. He has decent control of the changeup, meaning he can throw it for strikes. However, he hasn't shown the command needed to hit the corners consistently. The pitch has been left over the heart of the plate too often.

Matusz' third and fourth pitches are his slider and curveball. The slider looks like a plus strikeout pitch. He throws it in the low-80s consistently, but can bust it inside on RHs at 84 MPH when going for the strikeout. It gets good, sharp break and has missed a bat or two already. Brian has used his curveball as a change of pace pitch.

Matusz uses his fastball and changeup early in his outings. After feeling comfortable with this combination, he begins to break out his slider and curve. In his first appearance, when he pitched well, he used his changeup early in the count, and seemed to have a better plan on the mound. In his second outing, he was all about his fastball, which was ok until he pitched himself into some very predictable counts.

Matusz has shown a very poor pickoff move, and hasn't been tested at fielding his position. 8/12/09 CSJ

*fastball(89-94), changeup(80-84), slider(79-84), curve(76-77)

 

Jeremy Guthrie / RHP / starter

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Guthrie has good command of his four pitches. He can paint the corners with a fastball that bores in on RHs or he can also throw a 4-seamer that seems to cut in on LHs. In 2008, he mixed his fastballs with a good straight changeup that deceived hitters. For breaking pitches, he'll drop in slow curves in the low-70s and a standard slider. The former Stanford Cardinal can maintain his velocity deep into games, and had made himself into a reliable major league starter. 6/9/09 CSJ

*fastball(89-97), changeup(84-88), curve(72-75), slider(81-87)

Jim Johnson / RHP / reliever

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Jim Johnson throws a low-90s fastball out of an awkward snapping action of his right arm. He seems to spot the pitch well, and has found a way to make the fastball move a ton at times. Johnson has shown a big breaking curveball as his second pitch and become a good option out of the Baltimore bullpen. 8/1/09 CSJ

*fastball(93-96), curve(77-81), changeup(85-88)

David Hernandez / RHP / starter-reliever

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Hernandez has some promise as a starting pitcher. He has a good arm, showing low-mid 90s fastball that runs arm side. He'll mix in plenty of sinking changeups, even to RHs. David's strikeout pitch is a good curveball that drops hard. 6/5/09 CSJ

*fastball(91-96), changeup(81-85), curve(76-81)

Matt Albers / RHP / reliever

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Albers has a good arm, showing a fastball that sits in the low-mid 90s. He has a big, sharp curve in the upper-70s and shows a changeup. He also throws a hard slider in the upper 80s, but I have only seen a few of them. Albers rehabbed himself back from a torn labrum in 2008. 8/1/09 CSJ

*fastball(91-95), curve(76-81), changeup, slider

Chris Tillman / RHP / starter

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Tillman, one of the players the Orioles received in the Erik Bedard deal, has reached the majors at only 21 years old. He's a former 2nd round draft pick out of high school, who owns the classic pitcher's body. He's tall, thin, and throws a good fastball directly over-the-top. He can reach the mid-upper 90s with it, however, it looks extremely flat. Tillman is known for his curveball, a 12-6 pitch that can be tough to make contact with. In his first major league start, he surprisingly showed a good straight changeup. 8/1/09 CSJ

*fastball(90-96), curve(77-81), changeup(79-83)

Cla Meredith / RHP / reliever

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Meredith throws with a long sweeping sidearm motion. His fastball moves a ton, and is clocked in the mid-80s. He mixes in sliders that can rise towards his glove-side, and a changeup that sinks arm-side. 5/5/09 CSJ

*fastball(82-86), slider(75-77), changeup(73-77)

Koji Uehara / RHP / reliever

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Uehara signed a two-year deal with Baltimore after spending the first ten years of his career with the Yomiuri Giants. He brings a good, moving fastball that he commands very well, hitting the black on both sides of the plate consistently. His best pitch looks like his splitter, a pitch that really dives just as it reaches home plate. Koji also owns two breaking pitches. His slider is very tight and he'll use it inside on LHs like a cutter. The curveball is unusually slow and used to break up a batters timing. 4/8/09 CSJ

*fastball (86-91), splitter(78-82), slider(80-85), curve(65-69

Brad Bergesen / RHP / starter

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Bergesen slings his pitches across his body from a low arm angle, creating arm side movement on his fastball. He won't overpower anyone, touching 90 mph at times. Brad's slider gets decent sweeping action, but doesn't seem to fool many hitters. His third pitch is a changeup. 6/16/09 CSJ

*fastball(86-91), slider(80-84), changeup(79-83)

Jason Berken / RHP / reliever

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Berken has a fairly standard repertoire for a righthander. He owns a 90 mph fastball and an 80 mph changeup. He'll also mix in standard curves and sliders. Jason pitched collegiately for Clemson University. He has shown decent command in pro ball, but will have trouble missing bats at the major league level. 6/9/09 CSJ

*fastball(87-94), changeup(78-84), curve(72-76), slider(80-82)

Mark Hendrickson / LHP / reliever

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Hendrickson is a former NBA player from Mount Vernon, Washington. After 114 career basketball games, Hendrickson decided to give up the sport to concentrate on baseball. He has proven to be less than dominant in both sports, but has stuck around the Major Leagues. Hendrickson's fastball is in the upper-80s and fairly straight. Hendrickson mixes in a baby hook of a curveball and a hard changeup. His changeup doesn't vary enough in velocity from his fastball to be consistently effective. Hendrickson's best weapon however, may be his cutter, a pitch he'll work on his glove side of the plate. 6/9/09 CSJ

*fastball(87-91), curve(71-76), change(82-84), cutter(85-87)

Alberto Castillo / LHP / reliever

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Castillo is one of those lefthanders that will try anything to get an out, because he has to. His stuff is underwhelming, starting with a fastball that touches 90 mph at times. His slider is a big sweeper that will break away from LHs, or dive at the ankles of RHs. Castillo will try a changeup to RHs and has also shown me a slow curve. Castillo's final trick is to drop down and throw his fastball or slider from a sidearm motion. He seems to do this against LHs only. 6/19/09 CSJ

*fastball(85-91), slider(75-81), changeup(80-83), curve(73)


 


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