Daisuke Matsuzaka throws for first time since Tommy John surgery
|10.04.11 at 11:26 am ET|
Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka played catch for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in June to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. According to the Kyodo News (via JapanBall.com), Matsuzaka threw 39 times from “short range” in Fort Myers as a starting point to the gradual rebuilding of his arm strength.
After the throwing session, the 31-year-old reflected on what he considered a significant milestone in his rehab process.
”I have been waiting a long time for this day,” Matsuzaka told reporters in Fort Myers. ”It was the first time I threw a ball in awhile but I was relieved because my elbow didn’t hurt at all,” he said.
”I was nervous about my first throw because I didn’t want to throw it in a strange way. Since it was my first time holding a baseball in a long time, I wasn’t quite sure about my release.”
Matsuzaka made just eight appearances (seven starts) in 2011, going 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA before suffering the elbow injury that ultimately required season-ending surgery. While he remained true to the wildly inconsistent form he’d shown over the last three seasons, his absence nevertheless contributed to the decimation of the Red Sox’ starting pitching depth that ultimately contributed to the team’s collapse in September.
While Matsuzaka has a stated goal of returning sometime in the second half of the 2012 season — the last of the six-year, $52 million deal he signed with the Sox after Boston won its posting bid of $51.11 million on him in Nov. 2006 — it remains to be seen whether he ever pitches in a major league game for the Sox again.
That said, to date, Matsuzaka’s recovery from Tommy John has remained very much on schedule. Going forward, Matsuzaka said that he hopes to throw every other day, and he acknowledged that he will take more time both in preparing for his throwing sessions and getting post-throwing treatment.
In five seasons with the Sox, Matsuzaka is 49-30 with a 4.25 ERA while striking out 8.2 batters per nine innings and walking 4.4 hitters per nine. He will make $10 million in 2012.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Unexpected Trades Red Sox Could Pull Off This Offseason
- Dream Free-Agent Pickups for Red Sox
- Red Sox Free Agency News and Trade Rumors
- Should Red Sox Trade Cespedes This Offseason?
- Red Sox's Most Tradeable Assets for Offseason
- Uehara Inks 2-Year Extension with Sox
- Possible Trade Partners, Packages for Cespedes
- Drake Britton designated for assignment as Red Sox sign Ogando
- Trade Analysis: Scouting Anthony Ranaudo
- Red Sox deal Anthony Ranaudo to Rangers for Robbie Ross Jr.
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Perth heads to the playoffs
- Rookie Dev Program notes: Ramos healthy, Swihart looks back
- Mookie Betts is prepared for whatever 2015 may bring
- Brian Johnson prepared to follow up stellar 2014 campaign
- Fall/Winter League Roundup: Weeks helps Mayaguez advance to finals
- Rookie Development Program easing transition for young players
- Offseason Notes: Veterans Bianchi, Boggs highlight minor league signings