Daisuke Matsuzaka spent seven years playing professional ball in Japan before inking a six-year, $52 million contract with the Red Sox in February of 2007. He owns a 4.00 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP and a 37-21 record over his first three major league seasons and is apparently loving every minute of his time in the states.
Dice-K told Rob Bradford of Boston-based WEEI.com Tuesday that he wants to stick around for another 10 MLB seasons.
“I think both personally and from a family standpoint we’re all enjoying
our lives over here in the U.S., and if at all possible I would like to
play over here as long as I can,” Matsuzaka said through translator Masa Hoshino. “I guess in the very least I hope that I can play for
at least another 10 years here in the U.S. Yeah, 10 years is a long
time and it’s tough to imagine what it’s going to be like that far out,
but at the same time when I’m 40, or older than 40, I want to still be
able to pitch.”
Matsuzaka will turn 30 later this season and has already struggled with multiple injuries, but it’s not all that uncommon for baseball careers to extend into age 40. He’s under Red Sox control for the next three seasons, so we can say for certain he’ll be state-side through at least 2012.
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.