Daisuke Matsuzaka has made three relief appearances for the Mets since shifting to the bullpen and he’s been not terrible in them with one run allowed and seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings, so naturally manager Terry Collins is now talking him up as a potential closer.
Matsuzaka has a combined 5.36 ERA in six seasons since a strong 2008 for the Red Sox, but Collins told Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star Ledger there’s “no question about it” when asked if the 33-year-old right-hander has what it takes to thrive in the closer role.
Collins also said:
The adjustments he made at the end of the season, those walks went away. The command of all his pitches got much better. We saw that this spring.
To which I’d say … we’ll see. Matsuzaka has been bad enough for long enough that a few good relief outings should hardly convince anyone that he’s turned the corner into a valuable bullpen asset. And while Collins says “those walks went away” Matsuzaka has actually walked eight batters in 16 innings this season between Triple-A and the majors.
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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.
Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.
Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.