The Orioles rotation has been bolstered by a breakout run from a young left-hander.
It was supposed to be Brian Matusz.
Instead, it's rookie Zach Britton.
But Matusz is nearing a return, at which point he'd join Britton to form what the Orioles hope will be a solid southpaw duo for years to come. Matusz took a big step Friday toward coming back from a strained ribcage muscle.
Matusz threw a side session at Tropicana Field before the Orioles' 3-0 loss to the Rays, and he was able to use all his pitches.
Matusz could be activated to pitch by the end of May, depending on how he feels. In the meantime, the promising hurler will start for Class A Frederick on Monday. He's then slated to throw May 21 for either Class AAA Norfolk or Class AA Bowie, depending on the weather forecasts for the game sites that day.
He's unlikely to return to the Orioles until he's capable of going six or more innings in an outing.
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