Daisuke Matsuzaka would not talk to reporters about his neck discomfort Saturday, but he did issue a short statement through a team spokesperson. Here it is, via the Boston Globe:
“I didn’t throw live BP today due to stiffness in my neck. As for my
schedule going forward, I’m going to see how I feel tomorrow, meet with
the coaching staff and decide at that point.”
The 29-year-old right-hander failed to complete a scheduled live batting practice session on Saturday due to neck stiffness and is almost certain to miss the start of the regular season. It’s another disappointing setback for a guy in desperate need of a turn-around performance in 2010. He made just 12 starts last season and finished with an ugly 4-6 record on top of an even uglier 5.76 ERA. It’s not known when he will be ready to compete again, but chances are we won’t see him until late April or even May.
Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.
Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.
At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.