Matusz suspension upheld; Wieters returns for Orioles
CLEVELAND (AP) Major League Baseball upheld Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz's eight-game suspension for having a foreign substance on his arm during a game.
The Orioles got some good news Friday, too. They are getting back star catcher Matt Wieters after he missed more than a year for elbow surgery. He was activated from the 60-day disabled list and is in the lineup against Cleveland.
The Orioles made a flurry of roster moves after Matusz's suspension was upheld.
''The idea is to penalize the team by suspending him for eight games,'' manager Buck Showalter said. ''They've obviously done that because we had to make a lot of moves to offset it.''
Matusz will begin serving the suspension immediately. The left-hander was ejected from a game May 23 against Miami when umpires discovered the substance on his right forearm. He was suspended Monday and is eligible to return June 14.
Matusz will work out at the Orioles' spring training headquarters in Sarasota, Fla. during his suspension.
Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Will Smith's suspension for the same infraction was reduced Friday from eight games to six.
Wieters, a three-time All-Star, is set to bat fifth against the Indians. The switch-hitter is playing for the first time since May 10, 2014. He had Tommy John surgery five weeks later.
''My sole thought all along was to keep working as hard as I could to come back,'' Wieters said. ''Whether it took one year or five years, I didn't care.''
Wieters is happy to be part of the team again.
''I'm sure that I'll have some nerves, but that's fine,'' he said. ''What I'm looking forward to the most is just being at the ballpark, having normal days again.''
Showalter said the plan for now is Wieters will catch every other day.
Catcher Steve Clevenger and right-hander Mike Wright were optioned to Triple-A Norfolk while infielder Everth Cabrera was designated for assignment.
Infielder Rey Navarro was recalled from Norfolk. The contract of left-hander Cesar Cabral was selected from Norfolk