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.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.