So much for all that talk about Matsuzaka being healthy and in good shape and all of that:
According to translations, the Kyodo News and the Japanese sports web
site Sponichi Annex reported a few days ago that Matsuzaka, who was an
early arrival here, had skipped his throwing session at the end of last
week because of tightness in his back, and his no-show on the field
Tuesday would suggest that the condition had not improved sufficiently
to resume throwing. The Japanese media outlets had reported that the
Red Sox were aware of the condition, though Red Sox general manager
Theo Epstein did not mention it while discussing Matsuzaka with
reporters on Monday.
There was concern among some in Red Sox land that Tim Wakefield would become disgruntled as a result of not having a set spot in the rotation. If this is a harbinger of another injury-filled season for Dice-K, Wakefield may very well be quite gruntled this season.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.