After a good rehab start at Double-A on Saturday, Bobby Valentine said that Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his next injury rehabilitation start for Triple A Pawtucket, and that it will be the third in what the Red Sox expect will be five minor league starts.
If that schedule holds, and if he sticks to a normal four days rests between starts, he would be available to pitch in the bigs as early as May 18.
He had been shooting for a June return. And given that he had his Tommy John surgery in early June last year, anything earlier than June would represent a pretty speedy recovery as far as these things go.
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.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
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.