Tag:Daisuke Matsuzaka
Posted on: March 5, 2011 6:48 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down for 3/5: McClellan fights for spot

By Matt Snyder

Ah, another day of relatively meaningless spring games. Of course, there are guys fighting for a job -- like our top entry here -- otherwise we need to keep the date in mind. Skills are being honed and the results often aren't important at all, just the work that was done.

3 UP

1. Kyle McClellan, Cardinals. If the Cardinals don't go outside the organization to fill the rotation spot vacated by Adam Wainwright -- and it looks like they won't -- the best option would seem to be McClellan. The 26-year-old right-hander worked three scoreless innings Saturday against the Astros, allowing only two hits and striking out three. Another outing or two like this, and the audition for the job will be closed.

2. Chipper Jones, Braves. The veteran connected for his first home run since August 6 of last season. More importantly, he reported to Saturday being the first day he didn't feel any pain in his surgically repaired knee. Needless to say, this day mattered to Chipper, when normally a March 5 at-bat couldn't be more meaningless.

3. Bryce Harper, Nationals. The teenager got his first RBI of the spring, and it came against his childhood favorite team to boot. He's taking small steps forward seemingly with each game. It doesn't mean he's going to make the team or even play in the bigs this year, but he's gaining confidence at the professional level, which is all that really matters at this point.

3 DOWN

1. CC Sabathia, Yankees. The big man was shelled by the Nationals. His line couldn't have looked more brutal: 2 2/3 innings pitched, six hits, five earned runs, two walks, one strikeout. Of course, it doesn't matter. It's spring training and he's still a horse. Reading anything into it would be folly. In fact, I noticed a tweet today that said something like, "if CC is the one reliable member of the Yankees' rotation, what does that tell you?" My answer: absolutely nothing. It couldn't mean less.

2. Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox. He was just as bad as CC, coughing up six hits, seven runs (five earned), two walks and a wild pitch in three frames. You don't wanna draw too many conclusions based upon this, but he's always struggled with command -- or been way too much of a nibbler, depending upon your point of view. So, no worry yet, but he'll need to get things together within the next three weeks.

3. Johnny Damon, Rays. Apparently this was the AL East version, by total accident. Anyway, Damon went hitless, dropping his spring batting average to .182 and also dropped a fly ball in the outfield. Hardly a banner day but, again, hardly a worry at this point. If he does go on to have a disappointing campaign, it will be due to his age -- not a bad spring.

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 11:47 am
Edited on: February 21, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Getting to know the Red Sox

YoukilisTEAM MVP

On a team filled with possible MVP candidates, Kevin Youkilis may be the key. Newcomers Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford have gotten the headlines, but Youkilis' move to third base opened up the trade for Gonzalez. Youkilis, 31, has started 180 games at third base over his career, and at least one game a year there since breaking in with the Red Sox at third base in 2004. He started 54 games at third in his rookie season and 56 in 2009. Youkilis' bat is always steady, so his ability to field will be the difference.

PLAYER ORACLE -- Babe Ruth to Daisuke Matsuzaka

  • Rabe Ruth played with Waite Hoyt for the 1919 Boston Red Sox
  • Waite Hoyt played with Bert Haas for the 1937 Brooklyn Dodgers
  • Bert Haas played with Minnie Minoso for the 1951 Chicago White Sox
  • Minnie Minoso played with Harold Baines for the 1980 Chicago White Sox
  • Harold Baines played with Royce Clayton for the 2001 Chicago White Sox
  • Royce Clayton played with Daisuke Matsuzaka for the 2007 Boston Red Sox

POP CULTURE

Taken from civilization on Sept. 22, 2004, what could be the most unthinkable thing that could happen while you're gone -- George W. Bush being re-elected? Superman died? No, both of those things are possible.

But the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series? Nope, not possible. Add in the fact they were down 3-0 in the ALCS to the Yankees? Fat chance. The only response to such a thought? Absurd laughter, and that's just what Jack did on LOST when he was told of Boston's first title since 1918.

Here's the scene:

LOST is full of baseball references. Executive producer and writer Carlton Cuse is a Red Sox fan and co-creator and executive producer Damon Lindelof is a Yankees fan and once worked as a vendor at Yankee Stadium. Other baseball references:

 

  • There are characters Aaron and Boone, and Aaron Boone famously knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs with his home run in the 2003 ALCS.
  • One character, Sawyer, tells another, Karl, to "Cowboy Up," shades of the 2003 Red Sox slogan.
  • Jack's father was a big believer in fate, and to illustrate his point, he'd say, "that's why the Red Sox will never win the World Series."
  • "The Numbers" are a recurring them in LOST -- they're 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 -- all six numbers are also retired Yankees jersey numbers. 15 of course, is Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash.

 

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: February 14, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:36 am
 

Camp notes: Sabathia opting out?

CC Sabathia With spring training getting into full swing today, here's a look at notes from around baseball.

* CC Sabathia has always said in the past that he was absolutely, positively not going to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract after this season. Given the chance to rule it out again Monday morning, he "did some dancing around the issue and, for the first time, opened the door that he might deploy the opt-out," according to the New York Post.

Sabathia also came in noticeably lighter, saying he lost 25 pounds in the offseason because he wants to pitch another eight to 10 years. If he stays on his current deal, which runs through 2015, he'll be looking for a new contract at 36. If he opts out, he'll be trying to cash in on a long-term deal at 31. If nothing else, he can use the opt-out as leverage to get the Yankees to extend him past 2015.

* Jayson Werth showed up to Nationals camp sporting the mega-beard he had shaved off last year. The Washington Post noted that Ian Desmond told Werth, "Your beard is strong." Werth's response: "Strong to quite strong, actually."

* Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka tells WEEI.com he feels so good he thinks he can pitch more innings than his first season in 2007. Considering he threw 204 2/3 that year, that's saying something.

* Joe Girardi told reporters Derek Jeter will still lead off.

* The Pirates start camp one man down, as pitcher Jose Ascanio is having trouble getting out of Venezuela due to visa problems. Can't he just use his Amex?

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:58 am
 

Red Sox fielding calls on Matsuzaka

Rhodes The Red Sox have received trade inquiries on starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, as the Boston Globe 's Nick Cafardo writes.

Matsuzaka has frustrated the Red Sox for so long that it may be time to move on. Manager Terry Francona said he "can't figure out" the Japanese import while at the Winter Meetings Tuesday.

Despite that, Matsuzaka is a quality No. 4 starter who has ace potential if he can stop nibbling and throw strikes. With that in mind, GM Theo Epstein is leery of moving Matsuzaka as it would deplete the depth in the rotation. Currently, there is no appreciable depth behind No. 6 starter Tim Wakefield given the club is bringing Felix Doubront to spring training as a reliever.

In other news, the Red Sox are chasing relievers and may go after a complementary right-handed outfield bat. The club may also be open to trading first baseman Lars Anderson and outfielder Josh Reddick, who have no path to the majors in Boston.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 6:46 pm
 

Don't expect a Matsuzaka/Fukudome trade

Fukudome Earlier Wednesday, Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Cubs were kicking around the idea of a Kosuke Fukudome-Daisuke Matsuzaka swap in what would have been a multiplayer deal.

That didn't pass the smell test, as Fukudome (pictured) is an overpaid ($13.5 million due in 2011) outfielder best utilized as a platoon, and even coming off his best OPS in the majors (.802), is still not a quality starting outfielder. Matsuzaka has his own warts, but comes cheaper ($10 million per year through 2010), previous history of success and plays a position far more in demand: starting pitcher.

The Cubs likely realized that it would take more than Fukudome to land Matsuzaka by considering a multiplayer package, but even the fact Fukudome would have been included, and likely as the primary chip, still didn't make sense.

Well, consider the rumor debunked. Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald reports that a baseball source familiar with the Red Sox's thinking (how much more obscure can you get?) says that Boston would have no interest in such a swap.

By trading Matsuzaka, Boston would have an open rotation spot and no clear person to fill it. They would have to dip into free agency or be confident that prospect Felix Doubront could hold up over an entire year in the rotation, which is a lot to ask of the youngster this soon. In addition, Boston has a full outfield already and wouldn't make a move there unless a clear upgrade. Fukudome is not that upgrade.

This is one rumor that didn't make sense and is now debunked.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 7, 2010 1:24 am
 

Mariners might be interested in Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka There's a lot of ifs that have to happen first, but Daisuke Matsuzaka could be a Seattle Mariner in 2011.

With the Red Sox growing increasingly frustrated of Dice-K's inability to adapt and progress after his fourth major-league campaign, it is thought the BoSox will at least listen on a trade of Matsuzaka. The Japanese import has two years left on a deal that will pay him $10 million per year.

John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse has the Mariners interested in Matsuzaka, but only if the Red Sox pick up a significant portion of the tab. While the Red Sox could certainly pick up part of the tab, it's hard to imagine the team picking up half or more. Even though Dice-K ended 2010 with a 4.69 ERA and 4.73 xFIP in 25 starts, regressing in strikeout rate while remaining frustratingly inconsistent with command, $10 million a year is a defensible market value.

If Boston was to pick up between $2-to-$4 million per year, that should be enough to grease the skids out of town and get a solid player in return. The Red Sox have been known to have interest in Brandon League, going after the reliever at the deadline before deeming the cost prohibitive. League for Matsuzaka could possibly work.

More than likely, Boston will be asked to pick up far more of the tab than willing. Unless the M's back off their demands or another team steps up, Matsuzaka should return to the back of Boston's rotation in 2011.

The M's have had a hotbed of Japanese talent in the past, with Ichiro Suzuki remaining in town. Other Japanese players that have passed through include catcher Kenji Johjima and closer Kaz Sasaki. Seattle is owned by Nintendo, based out of Japan and there is a rabid market of fans in Japan that the team likes to tap into.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: August 25, 2010 6:29 pm
 

Matsuzaka to skip start

Daisuke Matsuzaka Daisuke Matsuzaka will skip his start on Thursday thanks to a sore back, reports Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Jon Lester has been pushed back from Wednesday night's tail-end of a doubleheader to replace Dice-K. That means Tim Wakefield, at least for one day, returns to his coveted spot in the rotation for a spot start against the Mariners. He will go up against Felix Hernandez.

Matsuzaka will miss out on the Rays series, while Lester goes up against David Price. The rotation resumes as scheduled on Saturday with Clay Buchholz opposing Matt Garza and John Lackey taking on James Shields Sunday. The move gives Lester an additional two days of rest after lasting just two innings against the Blue Jays last Friday, coughing up nine earned runs.

Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list twice earlier in the season, one with a neck strain and once with a forearm strain. Sandwiched around these stints, Matsuzaka has begun improving his game and has a 4.19 ERA in 19 starts, walking 4.1 batters per nine which is his lowest mark since his rookie year of 2007. He's also whiffing 7.9 batters per nine innings, which is a career-low mark.

It is not yet known the severity of the injury and whether Matsuzaka will need a stint on the DL.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 26, 2010 12:04 am
Edited on: June 26, 2010 2:18 am
 

Pedroia leaves game with foot injury

Dustin Pedroia left Boston's game in San Francisco in the third inning after fouling a ball off of the inside of his left foot in the third inning.

Pedroia, who hit three home runs on Thursday, stayed in the game long enough to work a walk, but he struggled to get to first. Pedroia was replaced by Mike Cameron to pinch-run.

Cameron stayed in the game and went to center field. Bill Hall moved from right field to second base and Darnell McDonald moved from center field to right field.

It seems like another day, another injury for the Red Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury (rib), Josh Beckett (back), Jeremy Hermida (ribs) and Mike Lowell (hip) are currently on the disabled list, while Kevin Youkilis (arm) isn't 100 percent. Victor Martinez has also played through pain, while Cameron and Daisuke Matsuzaka have recently come off the disabled list.

UPDATE: Pedroia was on crutches after the game, but manager Terry Francona told the Boston Herald 's Michael Silverman there was no break, but he would be re-evaluated on Saturday.

"I'm sore,” he said. "I’ll get checked out [Saturday] and make sure we get to the bottom of everything, but I’m pretty disappointed. I’ve never really hit a ball there before. But I’ll be all right."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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