OAKLAND, CA: Josh Willingham #16 of the Oakland Athletics rounds the bases after hitting a home run off of Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles in the third inning at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The bad news? In 2011, Baltimore's Brian Matusz set a new record for the highest ERA for a pitcher with at least 40 innings: 10.69.
The good news?
Two bits, actually. First, this note of optimism from Brady Anderson (via Peter Schmuck):
Orioles Hall of Famer Brady Anderson, making his first appearance since being appointed special assistant to executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette, said today at FanFest that the difference between Brian Matusz a year ago at this time and Brian Matusz today is the difference between night and day. "He's like a different human as far as his mentality and his dedication and the raw numbers, what type of athlete he is, he's not the same,'' Anderson said of the left-hander. By most accounts, Matusz arrived at spring training last year in less than optimum condition and started the season on the disabled list with an intercostal strain. He never really recovered and ended up back in the minor leagues for part of the season.
The second bit of good news is that before Matusz took the record, it was held by someone named Roy Halladay. And he seems to have turned out all right.
Of course, the news isn't all good. After Matusz and Halladay, the next five guys on the list -- considering only pitchers 27 or younger, since Matusz was 24 and Halladay 23 -- are Micah Bowie, Aaron Myette, Andy Larkin, and Glen Cook.
Bowie probably enjoyed the best career of those four. He finished with a 6.16 career ERA.
I'm still optimistic about Matusz, because being optimistic is more fun than being pessimistic. But he wasn't that good before last season, and there's a better chance that he'll be Micah Bowie than Roy Halladay.