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. Clearly, his confidence was bruised and he never really recovered the velocity or command he exhibited during a 7-1 finish in 2010.
Anderson said that getting the conditioning back on track also will help Matusz get back into a winning frame of mind.
"That's one of the additional benefits. When they are not prepared, they know it. When you're not performing because you're not prepared, mentally, it's a drag. So that's another thing. We call it 'spiraling ever-downward,' and that's one of the things you take care of when you condition, when you train, when you feel strong. Also, if you're not strong mechanically, you're going to break down. Think about what they do for a living. Think about what pro athletes do for a living. You can't do average things and expect to be extraordinary."