BALTIMORE -- Brian Matusz was very happy after his 35-pitch side session before Thursday's game with the Red Sox, saying it was "a big step forward."
The left-hander, who has been out since the start of the season with a strained left intercostal muscle, said he threw two-seam and four-seam fastballs, plus some changeups and curveballs, and everything went nicely. He also threw from the windup and stretch positions with no pain.
"I felt really good," he said. "I felt like I got stronger as I kept going."
The news also made manager Buck Showalter feel good.
"So far, so good," Showalter said. "So I'm glad he feels like he feels good."
Matusz, who will now report to the club's Spring Training complex in Sarasota, Fla., said the toughest thing about missing the first month of the season is that he's had to really just sit and watch his teammates.
"It's been tough this whole time," he said. "This whole process hasn't been easy. It's frustrating. It's not a lot of fun."