Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka made his first minor league rehab appearance last night. Matsuzaka, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June, began his rehab stint with the Red Sox Single-A affiliate.
As reported by Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, the former 18-game winner logged four innings last night, allowing three earned runs on six hits. Matsuzaka didn’t walk a batter and struck out two while throwing 40 of his 57 pitches for strikes.
Players can spend up to 30 days on rehab assignment, and Matsuzaka is slated to compile roughly five starts while in the minors. After that the Red Sox will have to decide where they want the right-hander to pitch.
After producing a 2008 campaign which garnered Cy Young consideration, Matsuzaka was increasingly shaky from 2009 until undergoing season-ending surgery last summer. The Japanese native has a career ERA and WHIP of 4.25 and 1.397 with 8.2 SO/9 and 4.4 BB/9.
If the Red Sox were to bump Daniel Bard from their rotation to help support their struggling bullpen, Matsuzaka could eventually reclaim his former role in the Red Sox starting staff. Though he’s been bad in recent years, Matsuzaka’s set to earn $10 million in 2012 so the Red Sox could have more of an incentive to give him a shot over less costly alternatives such as Aaron Cook.
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