|What to make of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s immediate future||05.16.12 at 7:39 pm ET|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — According to Bobby Valentine, Daisuke Matsuzaka might need a little more time.
“Right now, I don’t think he’s all that close to pitching in the major leagues,” Valentine said of Matsuzaka. “He might take a big step. Not until he’s ready. It’s not the calendar that’s going to dictate whether a guy pitches in the major leagues, I don’t think.”
The starter, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, is slated right now to make more two more starts prior to his rehab assignment expiring May 23. The question revolves around what the Red Sox can do after that.
The answer is this: The only the Red Sox can extend Matsuzaka’s time on the DL is by reporting to the Commissioner’s office that the pitcher has suffered a physical setback. If that is the case than the starter would have to sit out seven days and then reset his clock on the disabled list.
Judging by Valentine’s comments prior to his team’s game Wednesday night, an extension may be a very real possibility.
“I understand everything he says, and he understands everything I say. That’s why I don’t think he’s close,” said Valentine, who expressed concern over Matsuzaka’s mechanics after the pitcher’s last rehab outing. “There’s a lot of things that you do before you’re totally ready, and I’m not sure he’s put his elbow situation behind him yet. I don’t think he totally understands where he is with his elbow. He hasn’t confused me yet. If he tomorrow after the game says, ‘Bring on the Yankees,’ I’ve not understood a lot of the conversations. I don’t think he’s going to say that.”
The manager then added regarding Matsuzaka’s less-than-perfect mechanics right now, “It’s not necessarily tentative. It’s just the understanding of why it happened and what he did to pitch while it was hurt, that mechanic, whether or not that mechanic is something he should be using now or if he should go back to the mechanic he was using when he hurt it. It’s a very confusing state. Until he figures that out totally in his mind, competition is going to be confused. He won’t be into the competition. We want him to be here, not only to be healthy, but we want him to be in the competition.”
Matsuzaka has made four rehab outings, two in Single-A and a pair with Triple-A Pawtucket. He has totaled 18 2/3 innings with a 4.50 ERA, having given up five runs in 5 1/3 innings his last time out.
- Cup of Coffee: Montas strikes out 8 in Greenville loss
- SoxProspects.com Podcast #34
- ESPNBoston: De La Rosa finding his way in Pawtucket
- Cup of Coffee: Bradley, Holt shine in PawSox loss
- Xander Bogaerts, Portland to headline Futures at Fenway
- SoxProspects Video of the Week: Matt Barnes
- Cup of Coffee: Henry, Diaz propel Pawtucket to blowout victory
- Cup of Coffee: Spring's walk-off grand slam lifts Portland
- Bradley: "Everything's back to normal"
- Cup of Coffee: PawSox, Drive produce walk-off wins