UPDATE: Matsuzaka’s next start has indeed been pushed back from Friday to Sunday, but it’ll be Tim Wakefield and not Alceves taking his place tomorrow.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was needed in relief during last night’s 13-inning game against the Angels, coming out of the bullpen for the first time in his career and allowing two runs to take the loss.
He threw only 20 pitches and apparently tried to talk manager Terry Francona into letting him make his next scheduled start tomorrow, but Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports that the Red Sox are likely to bump Matsuzaka from the outing.
Here’s how Francona explained his thinking:
I think he’s going to want to, because he’s a competitor. Sometimes you got to take the decision out of their hands. It’s a long season. Last night, doing what we did, there’s no way to get around it. He ends up throwing two sides, or a side and the game in one day, we’ll probably err on the side of caution, but we need to go down and talk.
Alfredo Aceves is the leading candidate to replace Matsuzaka against the Twins, but the Red Sox will have to call him back up from Triple-A first.
Earlier, Craig asked if Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber would play the outfield now that the World Series has come to Chicago, where there will be no DH. The answer to that is no, it appears. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that Schwarber has not been medically cleared to play the outfield, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Schwarber returned to the Cubs sooner than expected after suffering a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg during an early April collision with teammate Dexter Fowler in Arizona. In preparation to join the Cubs for the World Series, Schwarber went to the Arizona Fall League and reportedly saw over 1,000 pitches from machines as well as Single-A pitchers. He doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (that was very nearly a home run) in Game 1, then drew a walk and hit two RBI singles in five plate appearances in Game 2.
At least right now, however, it appears Schwarber will serve as a bat off the bench for Games 3, 4, and 5 until he gets medical clearance.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Thursday that Astros bench coach Trey Hillman is leaving the team to manage the SK Wyverns in South Korea. According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, Hillman will earn $600,000 in each of two years plus a $400,000 signing bonus.
Hillman, 53, managed the Royals from 2008-10 but the team wasn’t very successful, putting up a 152-207 record before he was fired early in the 2010 season. Hillman was the bench coach for the Dodgers from 2011-13, served as a special assistant for the Yankees in 2014, and had been the Astros’ bench coach for the past two seasons.
Per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, the Astros released a statement which read:
Trey Hillman has accepted the managerial position of the SK Wyverns baseball club of the South Korean Professional Baseball League (KBO). We thank Trey for his contributions to the Astros success over the past two seasons and wish him the very best.
This won’t be Hillman’s first time working in baseball overseas. He managed the Nippon Ham Fighters in the Japan Pacific League from 2003-07.