Daisuke Matsuzaka left last night’s start against the Mariners in the fifth inning with right elbow tightness, but Steve Krasner of ESPNBoston.com reports that the Red Sox are optimistic he’ll be able to make his next scheduled turn in the rotation Wednesday against the Angels.
“I think we think he’ll be OK for his next start,” said Francona. “We’ll check him out.”
Dice-K gave up three runs — one earned — on four hits and four walks before leaving the game. According to Brooks Baseball, he was sitting around 92 mph on the radar gun in the first inning, but his velocity took a sharp nose dive as the game moved along.
For what’s it’s worth, Matsuzaka doesn’t sound too concerned.
“I could have continued to throw,” said Matsuzaka. “I didn’t feel I needed to come off the mound. I left the judgment to Tito. That was his decision to come off the mound. I understand Tito is always concerned about all his players. I feel sorry to make him concerned about my elbow.”
Matsuzaka is scheduled to be examined by the Red Sox medical staff at some point today. Tim Wakefield or Alfredo Aceves are the most likely replacements should they decide to play it safe.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.