New injury puts Daisuke Matsuzaka’s comeback from Tommy John surgery on hold


Daisuke Matsuzaka’s minor-league rehab assignment and return from Tommy John elbow surgery has been put on hold because of what the Red Sox are calling pain in his trapezius muscle.

At one point it looked like Matsuzaka was on the verge of coming off the disabled list and rejoining the Red Sox’s rotation, but manager Bobby Valentine told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe that the new injury “has been nagging him for quite a while and we’ve got to make sure that that’s 100 percent before he’s going out there again.”

In other words, don’t count on seeing Matsuzaka in Boston for a while. His rehab stint had been a mixed bag, with a strong 22/6 K/BB ratio in 25 innings coming along with a 4.62 ERA and .260 opponents’ batting average.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

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No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.