Red Sox starting pitcher Matsuzaka of Japan stands on the mound with a trainer and his translator during their American League MLB baseball game against the Mariners in Boston

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.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.