Looking to add depth to their rotation, the Cleveland Indians have added veteran starter Daisuke Matsuzaka on a minor league contract according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The only organization Matsuzaka has ever been affiliated with is the Red Sox (unless you count all those years in Japan), so it may be a strange sight seeing him on the mound for the Tribe, but it’s a nice, low-risk signing for a team that doesn’t have a whole lot to lose anyway.
Matsuzaka, 32, had some terrible numbers a year ago with Boston (1-7, 8.28 ERA, 1.71 WHIP), but it’s unfair to judge him based solely on those numbers. Unnoticed is the fact that he posted the lowest walk rate since his rookie season (3.9), struck out nearly a batter an inning, and got extremely unlucky on batted balls in play (.336).
Furthermore, only 57.9 percent of his runners were left stranded on base, an incredible number considering the average rate is at about 72 percent. Dice-K pitched far, far better than his numbers indicate in 2012, and the Indians may well have a pleasant surprise with this signing.