Daisuke Matsuzaka will take next turn in Red Sox rotation


Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters this past weekend that struggling right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka might be dropped from the starting rotation. But it won’t happen just yet.

According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox announced Tuesday evening that Matsuzaka will make his scheduled start Friday against the Blue Jays despite his recent hiccups.

Dice-K was shelled for five earned runs in less than two innings last Saturday by Toronto and allowed six earned runs without making it past the fourth inning in his start before that against the Athletics.

The 31-year-old impending free agent has a 7.20 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 35 total innings this season.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.