Matsuzaka Elects Surgery

Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka will reportedly undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his injured elbow.  The righty is set to meet with the club later today, after which an official statement is expected from the Red Sox.

Dice K was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament by the club, and this was confirmed Tuesday when the pitcher met with specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum.

Two options were on the table.  Matsuzaka could rehab and hope to avoid season ending surgery, or he could have the procedure to correct the tear and expect to be sidelined at least 12 months.

It appears the Japanese native has gone with door number two after discussing the matter with Dr. Yocum and his family.

I’ve never been a big fan of Dice K, but I can understand his decision.

Say he does try and rehab the arm.  Maybe he’s able to avoid the surgery and come back.  However, I feel more often than not players are only delaying the inevitable, ultimately going under the knife.  That would be time wasted that he could have spent recovering.

Matsuzaka also had to take his next contract into consideration.  His original 6 year/$52 million agreement with the Sox only runs through 2012.  If he wants another multiyear deal, Dice K will have to not only return next year, but also convince teams that he is still a capable pitcher.  Ideally, the sooner he has the surgery, the sooner he will be able to return.

Even before his injury, I don’t think clubs would have used the word capable when describing the righty.

After his 18 win campaign of 2008, Matsuzaka has been pretty terrible for the Sox.  His ERA from 2009 through this year is in the 5 range.  His walk rate has increased while his SO/9 mark has dropped to 6.3.  Assuming he will miss the remainder of this season, Dice K has logged less than 60 innings two of the past three years.

Because of the numbers mentioned above, I don’t think the Red Sox will severely miss Matsuzaka.  Veteran sinker baller Tim Wakefield has proved serviceable.  Boston is also hoping that John Lackey is able to return from the DL resembling the guy the club expected when they dished out $82.5 million.

As we wait for further confirmation and statements, I guess the real question becomes if this is the last we see of Daisuke Matsuzaka as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

Topics: Boston Red Sox, Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lackey, Tim Wakefield

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