Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has been slowed in camp by a sore neck and back, is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut against the Marlins on Thursday (according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal).
Dice-K has been limited to games of catch and bullpen sessions as the Red Sox ease him back to full strength. He won’t be ready for the start of the regular season, but there is some hope that we’ll see him in a Boston uniform by the end of April. The right-hander had an ugly 5.76 ERA and 1.87 WHIP in 12 starts last season and battled Red Sox management over conditioning and rehabilitation issues.
Matsuzaka signed a six-year, $52 million deal with club back in February of 2007.
The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.
Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.
Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.