Daisuke Matsuzaka is in the best shape of his life

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The Sox weren’t happy with Dice-K’s conditioning last year, but his offseason was good enough that I feel comfortable giving him the official BSOHL seal of approval:

The righthander arrived here
Thursday and worked out at the team complex the last two days. After a
winter that included several sessions at the Athletes’ Performance
training center in Arizona, Matsuzaka appears to be in better condition
than last season.

“He worked hard this winter, that’s evident,” general manager Theo Epstein said. “He has lost weight.”

Nice to hear he’s in shape, but the real questions surround his pride and candor. His struggles last year may have had a basis in a lack of conditioning, but they were exacerbated by his failure to disclose his injuries — a groin pull, mostly — and by allowing the Red Sox to pitch him when he wasn’t healthy. That led to ineffectiveness and shoulder problems.

Even guys who are in good shape get hurt. Hopefully Matsuzaka will let everyone know about it if it happens again.

Giancarlo Stanton to begin rehab assignment tonight

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Giancarlo Stanton will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday with High-A Tampa. That according to the team’s Tweet to that effect.

Stanton has been on the injured list since April 1 due to a left biceps strain and a left shoulder strain sustained in what Aaron Boone called a “funky swing” at the time. Figure he’ll need a week or so of minor league games to get back to playing speed.

At the time Stanton’s injury seemed to be a catastrophic thing for the team’s chances, but after a sluggish start the Yankees have been on fire for weeks and now sit in first place in the American League East.

Still, getting Stanton back will be a big boost for the New York lineup. He’s hit a few homers in his time, I hear.