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Daisuke Matsuzaka wins NPB comeback player of the year award

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You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t thought much about Daisuke Matsuzaka lately, as the ex-Red Sox and Mets pitcher has not played in the majors since 2014. He made his return to Japan when he signed a contract with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks prior to the 2015 season, but that didn’t work out too well, with Dice-K making only one NPB appearance and a handful of minor league appearances over a three year period due to injuries.

Matsuzaka signed with the Chunichi Dragons before the 2018 season. Given that he was 37 at the time and had hardly pitched a lick in three seasons, not much was likely expected of the former All-Star apart from his services as a gate attraction. Yet, despite the odds, Matsuzaka put together a pretty spiffy season for the Dragons, going 6-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 11 starts. He made the NPB All-Star Game and, just this morning, was named the league’s Comeback Player of the Year.

Not too bad for an old guy.

 

 

Luke Voit avoids concussion after taking 91 mph fastball to face

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Yankees first baseman Luke Voit exited Saturday’s game under less-than-ideal conditions after a 91.4-m.p.h. fastball caught him on the chin in the fourth inning. Following his removal, he passed the standard concussion protocol testing, though the Yankees will likely play it safe with the infielder over the next few days.

With one out and a runner on first, Voit stepped up to bat against Chad Bettis in the bottom of the fourth inning. He had just worked an 0-2 count against Bettis when the mishap occurred — a fastball that deflected off of his shoulder and met his chin. Voit took a few moments to recover, then took first base before he was eventually lifted from the game at the top of the fifth.

Prior to his exit, the first baseman went 0-for-1 with a walk. He was subsequently replaced by DJ LeMahieu, who shifted over from third to first base while Gio Urshela stepped in at the hot corner.

The Yankees currently lead the Rockies 11-5 in the eighth.