Dice-K rehabs, may start for the big club next week

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The Red Sox are still in a fight with the Rangers for the final playoff spot, so they can’t refuse help from any quarter.  Could Daisuke Matsuzaka provide any?

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 6 2/3 successful innings Wednesday night
against White Sox minor leaguers in the Single-A playoffs, and his next
outing will likely be come in a major league uniform.
Pitching with the Red Sox’ Single-A Salem affiliate, Matsuzaka blew
away the young hitters of Single-A Winston-Salem, gallowing only three
hits, one walk, and one run, while notching seven strikeouts.

I know the minors only live to supply the majors with players, but it does seem rather unsporting of everyone involved to send out a guy like Dice-K in a freaking playoff game. It’s like Adam Sandler playing dodgeball against those kids in one of those movies he made back before he became intolerable.  Most of the guys on the Winston-Salem team will never sniff upper level ball, so you should at least give them a chance to win something on their own merits, shouldn’t you?  Ah, screw it. I guess I’m just being sentimental.

Anyway, with Wakefield’s back still acting up, the Sox will need a starter next week.  From the looks of things, Dice-K will be their huckleberry.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.