UPDATE: Matsuzaka’s next start has indeed been pushed back from Friday to Sunday, but it’ll be Tim Wakefield and not Alceves taking his place tomorrow.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was needed in relief during last night’s 13-inning game against the Angels, coming out of the bullpen for the first time in his career and allowing two runs to take the loss.
He threw only 20 pitches and apparently tried to talk manager Terry Francona into letting him make his next scheduled start tomorrow, but Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports that the Red Sox are likely to bump Matsuzaka from the outing.
Here’s how Francona explained his thinking:
I think he’s going to want to, because he’s a competitor. Sometimes you got to take the decision out of their hands. It’s a long season. Last night, doing what we did, there’s no way to get around it. He ends up throwing two sides, or a side and the game in one day, we’ll probably err on the side of caution, but we need to go down and talk.
Alfredo Aceves is the leading candidate to replace Matsuzaka against the Twins, but the Red Sox will have to call him back up from Triple-A first.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.