Red Sox optimistic Daisuke Matsuzaka will be OK for next start

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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.

Miguel Sano suspended one game for altercation with Tigers

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Twins third baseman Miguel Sano has been suspended one game for his role in Saturday’s altercation with the Tigers, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Sano will appeal his suspension, so he’ll be eligible to play until that is resolved.

On Saturday, Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones was hit in the face by Twins pitcher Justin Haley. The Tigers’ Matt Boyd threw behind Sano when he came to the plate in the fifth inning, seemingly exacting revenge. Sano took exception, catcher James McCann pushed his glove into Sano’s face, and the benches emptied. Both Boyd and Sano were ejected from the game.

Sano has hit well in the early going, batting .241/.413/.569 with four home runs and 14 RBI with an MLB-best 17 walks in 75 plate appearances. Losing Sano for only one game won’t be the biggest deal for the Twins. Eduardo Escobar would get the start at third base to fill in for Sano if he loses his appeal.

Boyd was fined an undisclosed amount and not suspended, per MLB.com’s Jason Beck.

Matt Barnes suspended four games for throwing at Manny Machado

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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes has been suspended four games and fined an undisclosed amount for throwing at Orioles third baseman Manny Machado on Sunday. Barnes was exacting revenge for Machado’s slide which injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia on Friday, and was ejected immediately after throwing the pitch at Machado.

Barnes is appealing his suspension, so he will be able to participate in games until the issue is resolved. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.60 ERA and an 11/6 K/BB ratio in 10 innings so far this season.

The suspension is rather light considering Barnes’ intent. Barnes missed, thankfully, as he hit Machado’s bat rather than his helmet. Had he hit his intended target, though, baseball might’ve been out one superstar third baseman. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote today that Major League Baseball needs to beef up its punishment for players attempting to injure other players. And he’s totally right about that. The punishment is neither enough to deter players from attempting to injure their peers, nor is it enough for teams to deter their own players from doing so.