Daisuke Matsuzaka, coming off the best two-start stretch of his Red Sox career, left Friday night’s game against the Mariners in the fifth inning with right elbow tightness.
Dice-K didn’t show any obvious signs of injury before being removed. Jason Varitek came out to chat with him following an Ichiro Suzuki single in the fifth and then called for the training. After a conversation, he left the game and was replaced by Matt Albers.
Matsuzaka allowed two runs in the first, one of which was uearned. He was changed with a third run, also unearned, after departing in the fifth.
The Red Sox have always opted to tread carefully with Matsuzaka, so it’s safe to assume he’ll be placed on the DL after this one. Rotation depth is an issue for the team at the moment, as the team’s projected six-through-eight starters have all spent time in the bullpen this month. Tim Wakefield is still there, of course. Felix Doubront and Alfredo Aceves both recently returned to Triple-A Pawtucket to start, and Aceves threw five innings in his outing today.
Aceves figures to be the eventual choice to replace Dice-K on the roster, but since he won’t be available for a few days, Michael Bowden could get the callup on Saturday.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.