Tag: Daisuke Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka Signs Contract with Pacific League’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks

Former Major League pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka signed a contract with Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Pacific League in Japan.

The news of Matsuzaka’s signing was reported by The Japan Times following a season for the New York Mets in 2014. Fukuoka is coming off a championship season and signed a player who led the Pacific League in wins three times previously with the Seibu Lions.

Matsuzaka was brought over prior to the 2007 season by the Boston Red Sox but did not live up to the heightened expectations. His best season came in 2008, when he went 18-3 with 154 strikeouts and a 2.90 ERA with Boston.

Since that point, Matsuzaka has mostly struggled to return to that production. Some of that was due to injuries that derailed his success. He spoke about that last season, via Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News:

Speaking from personal experience, I pitched through the pain for a while and I just I hope he doesn’t do that, pitch through the pain and do things that can affect him later in his career. …

There is definitely not much good that can come from pitching through pain. Especially with pain you have to make adjustments to your mechanics and one thing leads to another, not much good that comes from it.

After going 3-3 with a 3.89 ERA last season with the New York Mets, Matsuzaka might have still had some value on the MLB market. Already 34 years old, it appears Matsuzaka will likely find more success in Japan than he did during his final year in the MLB.

With his return to Japan, he has a chance to reclaim the fame he once had on the international stage.


Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Best Remaining Players the New York Mets Could Bring in for Spring Training

The New York Mets have been busier this offseason than in recent ones, but there is still work to be done on the Mets roster before spring training begins next month.

General manager Sandy Alderson has already acquired Curtis Granderson and Chris Young for the outfield while adding Bartolo Colon to the rotation fill in for the absence of Matt Harvey.

Despite these moves, the organization would like to bring in another starting pitcher on a minor league deal to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. They would also like to acquire a veteran reliever to fill the role LaTroy Hawkins occupied in 2013.

Then, there’s the elephant in the room at shortstop. The Stephen Drew sweepstakes are still going on, and it looks like the Mets are the only logical suitor. Hopefully that is the case because potential backup options for Ruben Tejada were erased on Jan. 13 when Cesar Izturis signed with the Houston Astros and Ronny Cedeno inked a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Here are the best free-agent options left for the Mets to consider based on ability, versatility, affordability and fit in the clubhouse.


All player statistics and advanced statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, respectively. Contract information from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Begin Slideshow

MLB Trade Rumors: 3 Teams Who Must Deal for Daisuke Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka has been an enigma for the Boston Red Sox since he came to the team in 2007.

That year he went 15-12 with a 4.40 ERA and helped the Sox win Game 3 of the World Series against the Colorado Rockies. The following season, he was a Cy Young contender, having gone 18-3 with a sparkling 2.90 ERA. His strikeouts went down in year two, but he gave up almost half as many runs, and seemed to settle into his role with the team.

Since 2009, Daisuke has yet to win more than nine games, and his ERA was under five once in 2010 when he logged 153.2 innings. Injuries have certainly played a major role in his downswing, but it has become increasingly difficult to predict what he will do during any given fifth day.

His career ERA of 4.29 does not scream of a guy who is downright terrible, but after all the hullabaloo that followed his signing with the team in 2007, the Sox were right in expecting a bigger return on their investment.

Now, the Red Sox have placed the 31-year-old righty on waivers, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. And although he does have no-trade capabilities, there is a chance he could don another uniform this season.


Washington Nationals

Much has been made of Stephen Strasburg and his season potentially ending early, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Nats go for a starting pitcher. The team does own the best record in baseball, and if their young stud cannot pitch during the playoffs, they will need an additional arm.

While the Nats may be reluctant to take on the last $2 million of his $52 million contract, it’s tough to put a price on good pitching in the playoffs. And seeing as how he has pitched in the World Series with success, he could be an important piece for them going forward.


Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates are another young, inexperienced team that has surprised almost everyone this year. And with news coming out that they released Erik Bedard on Tuesday, they could be looking to add pitching depth to shrink that three-game deficit in the National League Wild Card race. A.J. Burnett and James McDonald have pitched well, but the team doesn’t have another reliable starter to lean on. Daisuke could be a solid fit for this young team.


Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers may have just made one of the biggest trades in the last decade, but don’t be surprised to see this team looking to add more pitching depth. Josh Beckett looked solid in his first start with the team Monday, but their rotation is far from a dominating unit. Clayton Kershaw has been his usual reliable self, having thrown 186.2 innings thus far and accruing an impressive 2.84 ERA. While Billingsley, Capuano and Harang have held down the fort, an additional starter could do wonders.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Boston Red Sox: Who Will Be the Starting Pitcher Come Saturday?

At last, the Boston Red Sox finally made a decision on struggling starting pitcher Daniel Bard.

They sent him to Triple-A Pawtucket to try and figure things out without hurting the major league club.

A move had to be made after he was taken out of the game in the second inning in his most recent start. The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham didn’t seem surprised by the move, as he didn’t even comment when tweeting it.

I’m glad they finally addressed the situation, but now the Red Sox have to worry about who’s going to start against the Washington Nationals on Saturday. This would’ve been Bard’s next start if he wasn’t optioned to the minors.

The first replacement who comes to mind is Daisuke Matsuzaka, who I made a case for just the other day.

Well, things happen and I’ve changed my mind.

Why, you ask? This tweet from the official Twitter of the Pawtucket Red Sox might clear that up.

That’s not the kind of start I was looking for out of the potential Saturday starter. Besides, he pitched so poorly, I think it’s going to be at least another start for Matsuzaka in the minors before we see him with Boston.

Abraham also chimed in on Matsuzaka’s performance.

I’ve decided to go with a less obvious approach for Saturday’s matchup. Why not just use the bullpen the entire game?

Here’s my plan if I’m Bobby Valentine:

Vicente Padilla for four innings.

Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales and Scott Atchison for four innings combined.

Alfredo Aceves for the last innings.

It may look crazy at first, but let me explain.

Vicente Padilla was a starter for the majority of his career. There’s no reason he isn’t capable of going four innings. He went four innings in Boston’s second game of the year, and has appeared in more than one inning in five of his 2012 appearances.

To ask Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales and Scott Atchison to go approximately 1.1 innings is a normal thing—manager Bobby Valentine asks for it on a regular basis.

Lastly, Alfredo Aceves is the closer. Going an inning, if Boston’s close or ahead, is cake for him. He loves to pitch.

Boston has a few days to figure out what they want to do. Maybe they’ll take my advice.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Boston Red Sox: Dice-K Dominant in Second Rehab Start, Strikes out 7 in Double-A

Daisuke Matsuzaka is making good progress as he works to return to the Boston Red Sox after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. 

Matsuzaka’s first start was not particularly impressive, but he rebounded nicely Saturday afternoon.

In his first rehab game last week with High-A Salem, he allowed three runs in four innings and threw 57 pitches. On Saturday he took the mound for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and looked dominant.

Matsuzaka threw 74 pitches in 4.2 innings. He allowed three hits, one earned run and struck out seven, while only walking two.

His only run was on a long fly ball that was misplayed and resulted in a triple. He responded by striking out the next batter, but was pulled when he walked the following.

The only negative of the outing was that 30 of his 74 pitches were balls. In his first outing he threw 57 pitches and 17 balls.

It was another step in his recovery for the Red Sox, who could certainly use his contributions at the big league level.

Matsuzaka is scheduled to make three more starts in the minors and be back in the majors on or around May 23rd.

Although it was against a Double-A team, the Red Sox have to be happy with the results.

If he remains healthy and continues to pitch as dominant as he did on Saturday, then the Red Sox can look forward to an important piece of their rotation joining the club again.


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Boston Red Sox: Predicting the 2012 Stats of Every Starting Pitcher

In Boston the weather has been a tease this week.  

Two days ago the temps were in the mid 50’s. Yesterday, it snowed. The Fenway Faithful are starting to salivate for the start of the 2012 season. The team was disgraced last year. Hopefully that means there is a chip on the shoulder of many men on this roster.

Most of all, the pitchers.

With a lot to prove and a fanbase anxious for baseball, here is a look at what we can expect from the starting pitchers in 2012.

Begin Slideshow

Boston Red Sox on Fire, but Can They Get Even Better?

The Boston Red Sox pounded the Chicago Cubs into submission, 15-5, yesterday to win their seventh straight ball game. The Sox have now won 10 of 12, 13 of 18 and 22 of their last 32. They have the best record in baseball since April 16 and, more importantly, they sit just a half game behind the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East.

How did this happen?

It was just two weeks ago that Red Sox Nation was ready to call it a year and go back to rooting for the Celtics and Bruins in the playoffs. But much has happened in those two short weeks, including Rajon Rondo almost single-handedly beating the Miami Heat with one arm (try getting your kids to believe that one in about 20 years).

The Red Sox, meanwhile, have come together as a team and started playing like the club that everyone and their uncle picked to win the World Series.

The good news? They’re going to get even better.


Carl Crawford

Much of the blame for Boston’s poor start was placed squarely on the shoulders of the $142 million man, otherwise known as Carl Crawford. In reality, at least half the lineup was struggling. The Red Sox hit just .243 as a team in April and Crawford finished the brutal month hitting .155.

Since then, however, the star outfielder has really turned it on. He opened May with an 11-game hitting streak and has his batting average up to .212. He’s hitting .294 so far in May and has a couple of nice game-winning hits on his resume.

He’s still stuck in the eight spot in the lineup and will remain there until further notice, but this is still a perennial All-Star who’s only now beginning to play like one.

Crawford’s worst season in his 10-year major league career was in 2008, when he missed over 50 games and finished with a .273/.319/.400 line. He’s currently at .212/.247/.282. Crawford averages 13 home runs and 53 steals over 162 games. Right now he has one and six, respectively. Clearly there’s room for improvement.

It’s only a matter of time before Crawford unleashes a string of multi-hit games and gives the Red Sox offense yet another weapon.


John Lackey/Daisuke Matsuzaka

The Red Sox felt pretty confident with what they were going to get out of the top of their rotation, and the trio of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz has certainly delivered so far this season. But the same can’t be said for the back end of the rotation.

Matsuzaka somehow rolled off two consecutive scoreless starts in mid-April, but the rest of the season has been a disaster. He hasn’t made it past the fifth inning in five of his eight starts and has almost as many walks (23) as strikeouts (26). He’s been so bad that the Red Sox couldn’t wait to get him off the field, putting him on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow. He’s not expected back until July, if ever.

Remarkably, Lackey has been even worse. The big righty has a 8.01 ERA and is getting smacked around like he’s playing T-ball. In 39.1 innings he’s surrendered 53 hits and 18 walks. In other words, an opposing batter has a better chance of reaching base than he does recording an out. Lackey’s crap fest earned him a spot on the disabled list alongside Matsuzaka, with what the Red Sox call a sprained right elbow.

It’s almost inconceivable that the two of them can continue to pitch this poorly, but even if they spend the rest of the season sitting on the bench (a trade is impossible at this point) the Red Sox can still take solace in that they have other options.

There’s the ageless Tim Wakefield, who’s already made two serviceable starts this season. There’s Alfredo Aceves, the former Yankee with starting experience. There’s lefties Rich Hill and Felix Doubront, just waiting for their shot to get back on the mound. There’s even the recently signed Kevin Millwood!

If the Yankees can make it through the first quarter of the season with Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon in their rotation, then odds are the Red Sox can find a competent pitcher somewhere. 



The Bobby Jenks signing has been a disaster. The supposed seventh inning guy has a 9.35 ERA in 11 games and is currently on the DL with a strained right biceps. Dan Wheeler has been even worse with a 11.32 ERA in 11 games, thanks in large part to the four home runs he’s given up (tied for fourth on the team, including starters). Denys Reyes didn’t even make it through a week with the big club, earning his release after just 1.2 awful innings.

But there is hope on the horizon.

The bullpen has been anchored by Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard and newcomer Matt Albers, but they’ve gotten positive contributions out of other pitchers. Scott Atchison is back after a strong year in 2010 and he pitched three scoreless innings last night against the Cubs. Ditto for lefty Rich Hill, who has yet to give up a run in 4.2 innings.

The Red Sox also recently acquired Franklin Morales, a lefty reliever who has a 3.86 ERA in 14 innings pitched for the Colorado Rockies. And don’t forget former prospect Michael Bowden, who was lights out in AAA Pawtucket and is now just waiting to get his name called.

It’s going to take some time, but the Red Sox have the resources to build a great bullpen.

This may sound like a collection of if’s, but every team in baseball has question marks. The biggest question for the Red Sox early in the season was could they get out of their slump? The answer, of course, was yes.

Now the question turns to guys like Carl Crawford, John Lackey and Bobby Jenks. History suggests that all of these guys will turn it around, but even if they don’t the Red Sox have Plan B already in place.

It’s going to be a fun season.  

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Daisuke Matsuzaka: 10 Things I’d Have Bought Instead of $103,111,111 Man

To make life easier, let’s just say that Dice-K cost a clean $100 million. I mean, that extra $3,111,111.11 really isn’t anything to write home about anyway. I can easily make that much money in three, maybe four lifetimes.

With that absurd amount of Benjamin’s, I’d buy Roy Halladay. Halladay was signed through 2013 with a 3year/$60 million contract. I’d rather have spent my money on three years of Halladay instead of six years of Daisuke Matsuzaka.

With the remaining (approximately) $40 million, I’d have taken the Boston Red Sox, the entire AL East, the rest of the American League and their counterparts in the National League out to Sizzler for an all-you-can-eat steak dinner. And if anything is left over, maybe some Pink (read: crack) Berry afterward.

If anyone has too much to drink, Dice-K will be available as the designated driver to ferry people home free of charge. After all, he doesn’t really need the money now, does he?

Begin Slideshow

Daisuke Matsuzaka to Teach Aerodynamics at Boston Red Sox Institute of Science

I am proud to announce that the Boston Red Sox have decided to open a brand new Institute for Advanced Science!

The venerable Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will surely become the most expensive physics professor in the history of the world, will be the first tenured faculty member. He will draw upon his vast knowledge in the area of streamlined, aerodynamic flight to raise a whole new generation of power-hitting, RBI-producing, pocket-protecting nerds.

You can still rest easy, however; this alternate career will not distract the man from his primary duty of raising the collective batting average of the rest of the league.

Okay, perhaps I am being a wee bit harsh, but the guy did manage to give up eight hits and seven earned runs in just two innings to the Tampa Bay Rays! This is a team that, going into the now-abbreviated three game series with the Red Sox at Fenway, had scored only 20 runs all season. In fact, if you remove the nine runs they scored in their only non-Sox victory, they only mustered 11 runs in eight games, and more than two runs in only two games.

In case I’m not painting the picture accurately, let me state this as clearly as I can: The Rays suck…

And yet the Red Sox, to their eternal credit, a testament to their unwavering resolve, were unwilling to be second best! They saw the Rays magical season of tragedy and horror and said, “we can do better than that!” And better they were, losing the two games they played in both spectacular and soul-crushing fashion before Boston fans began weeping so profusely that they flooded the field and forced a postponement of the final match.

This team is much too good at this…

Lester may have been the lone bright spot in the growing rubble of a rapidly crumbling season, building off his stellar outing against the Indians by throwing another seven quality innings. He allowed three earned runs and struck out another eight in a heart-breaking 3-2 loss on Tuesday night.

After the game, he demonstrated the tremendous class and character that can only be found in the spirit of a man of his caliber, when he told reporters, clad in only a towel the size of a face cloth and eating a salami sandwich the size of a basketball, that he “wonders if the Patriots need a backup quarterback.”

So, thanks to the deluge of tears, the Red Sox have two days off. Rumor has it that Terry Francona has already locked the clubhouse doors and refuses to let the players leave until they “think about what they’ve done!” Pedroia did throw a brief tantrum, but Franconca called him into his office and made him sit in the corner until he calmed down enough to take his daily nap.

When the Blue Jays come to town on Friday, all of Red Sox Nation will watch carefully as the team tries to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and squeeze out a couple of wins. Otherwise, I suggest they go for broke and start actively trying to lose; running out singles to third base, pitching from shortstop, forgoing the center fielder, letting Papelbon close…

If they’re going to lose, they may as well make us laugh.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Boston Red Sox Lose Again: If Only Adrian Gonzalez Could Pitch

Daisuke Matsuzaka hasn’t won a game for the Boston Red Sox in a long time.

In his first start of the 2011 season, the Red Sox were defeated Wednesday night by the Cleveland Indians, 8-4. Matsuzaka pitched five innings, giving up six hits and three earned runs.

His last winning start was on September 2, 2010, against the Baltimore Orioles.

Matsuzaka’s struggles are consistent with those of his team, as the Red Sox are winless in their first five games of the 2011 season.

Coming into the 2011 season the Red Sox made headlines with the signings of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. It was suggested the team would’ve made the postseason last year if not for the multitude of injuries they suffered.

Boston’s lineup looked poised to make a deep run into the postseason this season, and the Red Sox were considered the favorites by many to win the AL East and the World Series.

Rosters don’t win baseball games.

Carl Crawford isn’t quite living up to his $142 million contract. He has a miserable .211 batting average and six strikeouts. He has attributed his hitting slump to a lack of timing and plans to get in the batting cage to work it out.  

The Red Sox have had a disastrous start, losing all five games so far this season, but Adrian Gonzalez has been worth the money. He’s batting .350 and slugging .600 with five RBI.

Gonzalez hit his first home run of the season against the Indians, but it wasn’t enough for Boston to get their first win.

The bullpen couldn’t keep the game within reach.

Matsuzaka left the game with the Red Sox trailing 3-2. Dennys Reyes and Dan Wheeler gave the game away in their relief appearances.

Reyes had a 16.20 ERA allowing three earned runs on only 12 pitches. Wheeler made it a full inning before being pulled with an 11.64 ERA after giving up a sixth inning home run to Asdrubal Cabrera.

The season is far from over, and Boston has plenty of time to rebound from their early struggles. Although it is still possible for them to win the AL East and eventually win the World Series, it isn’t probable.

No team has started a season 0-5 and went on to win a World Series.

If the Red Sox don’t win a game soon, it may be worth it to have Gonzalez come out of the bullpen.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress