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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
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
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
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.