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MLBeat: Matthews is named
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09/11/2002 7:38 pm ET 
MLBeat: Matthews is named
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com

Mike Matthews will become the 14th different pitcher to start for the Brewers this season. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

MILWAUKEE -- When the Brewers traded Jamey Wright to the Cardinals on Aug. 29 for a minor leaguer and a player to be named, he embarked on a whirlwind 24 hours that began amid labor uncertainty and ended with a start at Wrigley Field.

When the mystery player was finally named, all he had to do was show up to the ballpark.

Mike Matthews, a left-hander who was in Milwaukee with the Cardinals for a series at Miller Park, changed teams Wednesday and came off the disabled list, completing the trade that also netted the Brewers minor league outfielder Chris Morris. Matthews threw a bullpen session for his new pitching coach, Bill Castro, before the game.

"There was just no room for me, no long relief, even though my numbers were halfway good," said Matthews, 28, who posted a 3.89 ERA in 43 relief stints this season. "The starters were going seven, eight innings and all of a sudden it's been seven or eight days since you pitched."

The situation should be different in Milwaukee. Brewers manager Jerry Royster said Matthews would get his feet wet in a few relief stints, but the team's long-term goal is to use him as a starter. Ten of Matthews' 108 Major League appearances have been starts.

"We'd like to see him start after he gets a few outings out of the bullpen," Royster said. "It really depends on him."

The Brewers have plenty of options. Three pitchers -- Wednesday starter Ben Sheets, lefty Glendon Rusch and rookie right-hander Nick Neugebauer -- will remain on their regular schedule. Four others -- left-handers Matthews and Wayne Franklin and right-handers Ben Diggins and David Pember -- are expected to start before the season ends. Nelson Figueroa, Andrew Lorraine and Jose Cabrera, currently pitching out of the bullpen, have also made starts.

Thirteen different pitchers have already started games for Milwaukee this year. Two of them -- Matthews and Franklin -- began their big league careers as relievers.

Matthews' last appearance with the Cardinals came Aug. 20. The Cardinals placed him on the DL Aug. 21 with a strained right hip flexor. Rumors swirled about his status on the team from the day Wright joined the Cardinals via the trade.

"Now I can pitch, instead of sitting down there and getting 40 appearances a year," Matthews said. "That doesn't do much for your stock.

"I'm glad it's over. It's time to move on."

Matthews, who wears No. 30 with the Brewers, is 5-5 with a 3.99 ERA in his career. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Brewers transferred pitcher Chad Fox to the 60-Day DL.

Throwback: Royster worked with shortstop prospect Bill Hall on his throwing motion before Tuesday's game, and had Hall's fielding practice videotaped. Royster and Hall watched the video Wednesday afternoon.

"He couldn't believe the results," Royster said. "It's going to take him awhile to do it consistently and he might make a few errors along the way. But it's just so much easier for him now."

Hall is working on a more overhand throw instead of throwing at a three-quarters angle. He committed 41 errors this season at Triple-A.

Fantasy Edge: Jose Hernandez owns a nine-game hitting streak against the Cardinals entering Wednesday's game and has hit safely in 10 of 12 games versus the Cards this season.

Adam McCalvy covers the Brewers for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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