UPDATE: It’s official. Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports that Matsuzaka has been placed on the disabled list. Alfredo Aceves will take his place in the starting rotation Saturday against the Cubs.
6:50 PM: Daisuke Matsuzaka was sent for an MRI on his elbow Tuesday, the Boston Globe reports, and is expected to go on the disabled list after giving up five runs and walking seven in 4 1/3 innings in an ugly outing against the Orioles on Monday night.
Matsuzaka had two brilliant starts for the Red Sox last month, allowing two hits over 15 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays and Angels, before leaving his April 29 outing with elbow tightness. The Red Sox said that was strictly a precaution, but he hasn’t pitched well in his three outing since, including his relief loss in extra innings against the Angels on May 4.
The Red Sox aren’t at all sure whether it’s really an injury that has him down, though.
“It has not been ready yet. We don’t really have much to discuss,” Terry Francona said of the MRI. “We’re talking about his elbow. Whether it’s sore or whether he’s afraid to get to a point where it will get sore, we’re trying to figure it out.”
The Boston Herald’s Scott Lauber pointed out that it may be something else entirely, tweeting the following:
For what it’s worth, pitching coach Curt Young believes Daisuke Matsuzaka’s issues last night were a product of illness, not injury
But whether he’s truly hurt or not, it looks like Dice-K will join John Lackey on the DL for Boston. Reliever Michael Bowden is expected to be added to the roster in his place.
The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.
Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.
Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.