The deed is done.
According to Allan Ryan of ESPN Boston, Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery Friday in L.A.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum and was deemed a success, though just about every surgery is deemed successful one day after.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona provided an update to reporters Saturday on what he heard from Yocum and where Dice-K plans to do most of his rehabbing:
“Dr. Yocum said he was real pleased with how it went,” Francona told the press. “(Matsuzaka’s) got another appointment with Dr. Yocum in 10 days and, after that, we’ll see if he can start doing some things to get started on his journey back. (Dice-K) understands, and probably agrees, that he needs to stay in Boston. It’s not like he can just go home. Keeping track of things is so important.”
The recovery time for Tommy John surgery can vary, but most pitchers need at least a full year and some cases require 15 months. There’s a chance that Dice-K, who will be a free agent after 2012, has thrown his last baseball as a member of the Red Sox. That’s quite unfortunate given his $103.1 million original price tag.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.
It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.
At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”
Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.