Orioles deal Matusz, pick to Braves for minor leaguers


The rebuilding Atlanta Braves invested deeper into their already important June draft on Monday by acquiring the 76th pick in the draft from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league pitchers Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek.

The Braves also acquired veteran left-hander Brian Matusz, who was immediately designated for assignment.

The competitive balance draft pick gives the Braves five of the first 80 picks in the June 9-11 draft, including the No. 3 overall selection.

Matusz, 29, had a 12.00 ERA in seven relief appearances this season. He began the season on the 15-day disabled list with back discomfort and never found his form after he was activated on April 23.

Matusz, a former top prospect, was 27-41 with a 4.85 ERA in 289 career games, including 68 starts, in eight seasons with Baltimore. He had a 2.94 ERA in 58 games as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen last season after failing to keep a spot in the rotation.

As proof of the importance the Braves placed on the draft pick, the team will pay about $3 million of the $3.9 million salary owed Matusz. The Braves also received an added $839,000 to the bonus pool money they can use to sign draft picks.

The 23-year-old Barker, a right-hander, was 3-2 with a 2.00 ERA in nine games, including eight starts, for Double-A Mississippi this season.

The left-handed Belicek, also 23, was a combined 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA for Class A Rome and Mississippi.

Barker was a 16th-round draft pick from Mercer University in 2014. Belicek was selected in the 16th round out of Texas A&M in 2015.


Pirates' Vogelsong hit in face, taken to hospital: Pittsburgh Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong was carted off the field after getting struck in the head by a pitch in the second inning of a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday.

With the bases loaded and Pittsburgh leading 1-0, Colorado starter Jordan Lyles (1-2) hit Vogelsong in the left cheek with a 92 mph fastball. Typically pitching out of the bullpen, Vogelsong was making his second start of the season, filling in because of a rainout Sunday. The Pirates later said he was admitted to the hospital for injuries to his left eye. Vogelsong was replaced by Wilfredo Boscan (1-0), who got the win in relief.

Vogelsong pitched two scoreless innings before getting injured, holding Colorado to two hits and getting two strikeouts on 34 pitches.

Josh Hamilton won't play at all this season: Josh Hamilton will have another surgery on his left knee and not play a game this season for the Texas Rangers.

The 2010 AL MVP and five-time All-Star slugger has already had surgery twice on his left knee the last nine months, along with cortisone shots and even a stem cell and platelet-rich plasma injection during spring training. He played in one game for Double-A Frisco on April 30 before being recalled from his rehab assignment. Hamilton, on the disabled list all season, got another opinion from Dr. Walt Lowe in Houston. The knee specialist is scheduled to perform another surgery June 8.

Gwynn's family file lawsuit against tobacco industry: Tony Gwynn’s widow and two children have filed a lawsuit seeking to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the Hall of Famer’s death.

The suit was filed in San Diego Superior Court by Alicia Gwynn and her children, Tony Jr. and Anisha Gwynn-Jones. The suit says Gwynn started dipping as a 17-year-old freshman ballplayer at San Diego State. He died of oral cancer in 2014 at age 54. Defendants include Altria Group Corp., the parent company of Philip Morris, and US Smokeless Tobacco Co. LLC.