Matsuzaka Remains In Boston’s 2011 Plans

Physical conditioning and improved secondary pitches have placed Daisuke Matsuzaka firmly in Boston’s projected 2011 rotation. A Red Sox source told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that Matsuzaka is “very much” a part of the organization’s plans going forward. The Red Sox won’t try to trade the pitcher, partly because they saw improvement over the course of the 2010 season.

"To look where we were with him in March, and where we are now, I think we feel a lot better about it now,” GM Theo Epstein said.” Along the way there’s been consistent velocity that we hadn’t seen the last couple years, and some improvement in the secondary stuff, even as recently as his last couple starts, so again more positive signs to take into the winter."

Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield and Felix Doubront give Boston more rotation depth than most teams, but the organization expects to rely on seven or eight starters over the course of a full season, so Matsuzaka is likely staying put.

Peter Gammons suggested on WEEI last week that the Red Sox could flip Matsuzaka to the Mets for Carlos Beltran, but the Red Sox appear to have little interest in Beltran, according to Speier.


49 Responses to Matsuzaka Remains In Boston’s 2011 Plans Leave a Reply

  1. wickedkevin 5 years ago

    Glad to hear it. Honestly, I know a lot of Sox fans do not like him, but I enjoy watching him pitch. You don’t win 18 games out of luck. When he is on, he is dirty, all there is to it. He just needs to be more consistent. Everyone knows he has the ability.

    • You win 18 games out of luck when you did it in 167 innings. He’ll never be consistent in America because he wants the routine he had in Japan–that’ll never happen. Moreoever, he is one of the slowest paced pitchers in the Majors, believe me, the D behind him wouldn’t mind him being gone.

      • wickedkevin 5 years ago

        Yeah, because you are the defense. Don’t speak for the Red Sox players. He is the reason the Sox can get players like Saito, Okajima, and Tazawa over anyone else. He globally boosts the Red Sox profits and marketing. And no matter what you say, 18 wins IS NOT LUCK regardless of the amount of innings. You think the players don’t appreciate that? They just hate how slow paced he is and hate to play behind him as if they are bored or something? That is nonsense.

        • Hahaha, yeah. You NEVER hear former MLB players turned broadcasters talk about how much they hated playing behind slow pitchers.

          Also, it’s luck because without the bullpen pitching 3-4 innings every Dice-K start he would’ve never won 18 games; not averaging 5.2 IP per start.

          • BoSoxSam 5 years ago

            I don’t know this answer, so I won’t make any assumptions, but I’m just curious…whats his average IP per win? Because when I watch him, and I watch his wins, he often at least reaches the 7th, and many times I’ve seen him complete the 7. Just wondering if all his losses are under or closer to the 5.2 IP mark than his wins. I know he doesn’t get a lot of innings, I’m just sayin. :)

            Anyway, I’m glad to see him back. He’s fun to watch, in my opinion. And I agree with Boston that he’s seen some improvement in his stuff this year; if he can continue that he’s gonna be a useful part of the rotation.

          • johnsilver 5 years ago

            That is one reason am thinking a switch to the NL would change his fortunes and at the least, out of the AL East. Without going and looking up all of his inter league starts, but just that one Philly start that sticks to mind with 8 nearly perfect innings he tossed and could have even pitched a CG even.. A change of leagues to where he gets a pitcher to throw to would do him a world of good..IF something of more use than the oft injured and far too expensive beltran could be gotten in return.

          • woadude 5 years ago

            I watched him bat when they played the Diamondbacks in interleague, it was pathetic, he would have to bunt as his bat speed was slower than his pitch delivery.

          • johnsilver 5 years ago

            No doubt he is an auto out, then again most pitchers are in a league where a spot in the batting orders bunts with a runner on 1st base and less than 2 outs.. That is fun to watch…

          • woadude 5 years ago

            its not fun watching an auto out, listen i like both the DH and the pitcher hitting, but it kills me when the pitcher cant make contact, if i was a pitcher, i would try to emulate ichiro, his swing is like a bunt swing, just gracefully makes contact, thats how pitchers should approach pitchers.

  2. basemonkey 5 years ago

    I think we need to take into account that Dice-K was/has really been just adapting to the majors from Japan still. Endurance issues really take a full season or two to start taking it’s toll on a pitcher. It’s probably taken him about this long to learn to pace himself and acclimate to the majorleague IP load and 5-man rotation schedule. Big difference.

    • Look at his Japanese numbers, homes (3 years 180+ IP, 3 years 200+ IP, including 240 IP in 2001). It doesn’t take 4 years to adapt; he doesn’t need to adapt, he needs to comprimise and he wont. Look at last year, Farrell and the Sox were constantly complaining that Dice-K wouldn’t shut up about “back in Japan I did . . .”

      • wickedkevin 5 years ago

        How do you know how many years it takes to adapt from Japan to American baseball? All of your complaints are assumptions and nothing more. If he pitched so well in Japan with his own routine and program why can’t the Sox just let him stick to it?

        • Because the Sox would have to switch to a 6-man rotation and why screw over everyone else for 1 player? Do you even remember last year? There was major friction between Farrell, the medical staff, the training staff and Dice-K. Every other Red Sox starter RAVES about the program Dice-K refuses to adhere to.

          • wickedkevin 5 years ago

            And what happened in 2010 with Farrell, the medical staff, the training staff? Taking more heat than ever. Just goes to show how much can change as time goes. Good chance a lot of those jobs are replaced. I’m not defending Dice-K on that one, but my argument in it can be the same as yours for the staff.

      • basemonkey 5 years ago

        When I say adapt, I mean, among other things, things like pitching every 5 days in the majors, vs. pitching every 6. A lot of Japanese pitchers don’t pace themselves well initially in the US. Sometimes they suffer an injury because of it, or show signs of wearing down. In recent memory, Uehara, Dice-K, and Kawakami have all suffered health issues related to endurance.

        The toll that kind of thing takes doesn’t necessarily show up in the first year, or even necessarily the next. With Dice-K, it definately has been a factor. The difference in a pitchers’ approach comes down to how hard they push and pace themselves in any given game.

  3. Of course they’re going to say that. Theo never talks about potential moves; if someone is under contract, he’ll always say “they’re part of our future plans.” Bottom line is that if Boston finds a way to rid themself of someone who’s faught them tooth-and-nail since he’s been here, they will.

    Dice-K is a cancer and I’ll be happy to see him gone should the Sox be lucky enough to move him.

    • Ben_Cherington 5 years ago

      He is def not a cancer! Do you watch baseball? The guy has good stuff and is a great #5! He is still adapting, and I promise you he didnt face a lineup like the yanks and rays in japan. Now should we trade him, sure if we can net a solid return. I personally think we can benefit from having him. I would like him over wake and Doubront (who i do like for the future) but right now you have to think Dice K is a decent fit.

      • I didn’t say he didn’t have good stuff. But, you never know if you’re going to get that good stuff. I mean, look at his game logs: in 25 starts in 2010 he pitched less than 7IP 19x, in 12 starts in 2009 he pitched less than 7IP 11x and never made it to the 8th, and in his 18 win 2008 season he pitched less than 7IP in 21/28 starts only making it to the 8th 3x.

        He’s a cancer because he wont listen to people that know better than he does and he’s a bullpen killer.

        • Ben_Cherington 5 years ago

          He is a number 5 starter. How many other #5’s are that good? Please list them. Now he is overpaid but the sox have the money. Who cares if he makes it to the eigth inning ever time. Niether did Buchholz or Lester, should we get rid of them to? They must be a cancer as well. Im glad your not our GM! He had some injuries this year, you cant expect him to come in in his first start back adn thrown 9 innings, or his next start or even the next start.

          Youre killin me smalls!

          • The Sox didn’t spend $101 million on a #5 starter you jack-n-apes. He’s only a #5 starter because he’s a bust, has a full no trade clause and can’t be sent to Pawtucket.

            And, we can’t put him in the pen because he’s notorious for giving up 1st inning runs.

  4. I think DiceK is under appreciated by most fans. I’m not going to stand here and say he is a great pitcher but he is good. Get over the $50 million posting fee. The money’s already gone. Keep him and put him in the bullpen. His stats with runners on base are great.
    link to redsoxbeacon.com

  5. Guest 5 years ago

    Theo Epstein just doesn’t know how to work these things as a GM. Undoubtly, Dice-K should be discussed as a trade option. Theo the way it work is like this; 1) trade player when value is high 2) trade player when value is highest, following several years of inconsistency.

    I understand Theo likes to see these things out full circle; until a player is of no use to them any longer or cannot play.

    I know I’m being harsh, but seriously, does anyone else really believe this guy knows what he is doing?

    I know there is discussion of him picking up Ortiz’s option. I see that being a great idea as well. As an AL East rival, I encourage these moves. The more non moves or poor signings he makes, the best for everyone else in the division.

    • Ben_Cherington 5 years ago

      I hate you….but somewhat agree!

      I feel some of these low risk high reward signings are terrible! Ortiz is worth the 12 mil if he can hit like this year. If he hadnt started off slow he would have hit .300 and 40 hrs.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      With the way you talk about Epstein, considering he’s easily a top five MLB GM in 90% of knowledgeable MLB fan/writer/staffers’ minds, I’d have to assume that Epstein ran over your dog or something. You’re like a broken record.

      The only other sensible response is that you are, in fact, Dan Duquette.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        I’ll agree with part of what you said, but the truth is, Theo Epstein in NOT a strong negotiator. There are no trades that he has made that stand out and over a fairly long period of time. Keep in mind Beckett and Lowell, whom both contributed to the 2007 WS, Theo had no part of. Alternatively, Ramierz may still be in Boston if Theo has that involvement. WS or not, who knows. It does seem like Theo is very good at identifying the young talent, but again, man his negotiating sucks…

        • Yeah clearly him trading Nomar hurt the club…what trades did you not like? I don’t get it, he’s made a couple bad trades and some that were good but didn’t work out (Gagne), but he’s a great GM. Great. The guy is a great negotiater and is one of the most aggressive GM’s according to polls of the other GMs. I have complaints about many moves he’s made, but overall he’s really good. I wouldn’t want any other GM for my favorite team.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        I’ll agree with part of what you said, but the truth is, Theo Epstein in NOT a strong negotiator. There are no trades that he has made that stand out and over a fairly long period of time. Keep in mind Beckett and Lowell, whom both contributed to the 2007 WS, Theo had no part of. Alternatively, Ramierz may still be in Boston if Theo has that involvement. WS or not, who knows. It does seem like Theo is very good at identifying the young talent, but again, man his negotiating sucks…

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Because we all know when a GM says a player is part of the plan for next year it means he has no intention of listening to offers… That said a pitcher with an under 5.00 ERA is still one of the better #5 pitchers in the game. Also things to be said about Matsuzaka include his full no trade clause, his salary would make him hard to move, and his signing brought in interesting Asian prospects.

      Ultimately Matsuzaka’s legacy is more of a warning to GM’s about star pitchers from the Japanese Leagues… the smaller ball and longer rests makes transition harder. Of course there’s also Kei Igawa’s legacy.

      As for what Theo knowing what he’s doing: 2 world series, 4 ALCS appearances, the drafting of Papelbon, Pedroia, Buchholz, Bard, Ellsbury, and ultimately making Boston’s farm one of the better in the league which for those of us who remember the Dan Duquette era…

  6. Guest 5 years ago

    Theo Epstein just doesn’t know how to work these things as a GM. Undoubtly, Dice-K should be discussed as a trade option. Theo the way it work is like this; 1) trade player when value is high 2) trade player when value is highest, following several years of inconsistency.

    I understand Theo likes to see these things out full circle; until a player is of no use to them any longer or cannot play.

    I know I’m being harsh, but seriously, does anyone else really believe this guy knows what he is doing?

    I know there is discussion of him picking up Ortiz’s option. I see that being a great idea as well. As an AL East rival, I encourage these moves. The more non moves or poor signings he makes, the best for everyone else in the division.

  7. hawkny1 5 years ago

    8 starters on a 25-man roster? Insanity!
    No wonder so many position players fell to injury in 2010…
    How about packaging one ot two of these “starters”, along with a couple of “professional prospects”, into a deal to being in a power bat or two to the Red Sox outfield?
    Except for a rare dinger from Drew the Boston outfield is as bunch of “Punch and Judy” hitters..

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Where to begin on this one…
      1) The Sox ended the season with 7 starting pitchers on the active roster, 2 of which were in the bullpen. And if you’re thinking of Bowden, he didn’t make a start for the Sox this year.
      2) Where in that comment does it say “on the 25-man roster.” I’m assuming from the “ny” in your name you’re either a yank or Mets fan… does your team only have 5 starters on their 40 man roster because they believe they’ll get over 30 starts from all 5? Thought not. EVERY team wants to ideally have 2-3 back up starting pitcher in the minors or in their bullpen.
      3) “Professional prospects” I have no idea what that even means…
      4) Umm when Ichiro hits a home run it’s rare… a guy who hits more than 20 hrs a year is not a rare event.
      5) Yeah, the outfield was built on speed and defense. Bad luck and Ellsbury’s suddenly brittle bones made that not work.
      6) Not sure what going through a year with the customary 11 to 12 pitchers on your 25 man roster has anything to do with bad luck injuries of Youk, Pedroia, Cameron, and Ellsbury.

      • hawkny1 5 years ago

        Why have 2 or 3 starters in the bullpen? If they aren’t conditioned to the rigors of relief work, what good are they to the club? Perhaps that is why Theo is now saying, as he did last year, that the team needs at least two good relievers besides Papelbon and Bard.

        I grew up on Iroquois Street, on Mission Hill, in Roxbury, where the roar of the crowd from Fenway could be heard from one’s back porch. If you know Boston, you know where Mission Hill is. Probably been a Red Sox fan longer than you have been alive. Don’t let log-on handles mislead you.

        What are professional prospects you ask? Take a look at the tail end of our 40-man roster, the roster in Pawtucket and up in Portland. Need I name names? There are at least 10-12-15 players who have already spent 5/6 years in the Red Sox organization, and will never have playing time in the Major Leagues, in Boston. Lesser clubs, like, say, Pittsburgh, Miami, the Astros, Mariners etc….might be willing to give these guys a real shot. So, these players should be added to sweeten pots, to bring an outfielder or two, to Beantown, who can hit with some authority and with power. Better to use these “professional prospects” that way than to continue to keep them in the organization to give the folks in Pawtucket/Portland something to talk about on Mondays or when the big club is playing on the road, and… then, eventually, cut them loose at 28/29 years of age.. (Chris Carter for example)

        Team defense, in the outfield? With Cameron, Hermida and Hall? You jest, right?
        And, yes, it was too bad about Jacoby…. question now is “can he ever come back to his prior skill level?” MacDonald played admirably, considering he had no “break in” time…and
        I enjoyed Nava…but does he really stand a chance to be a regular in Boston? I think not..
        IMHO, paying Cameron $15M, after he was a washout with the Mets, years ago…ranks up there with Theo’s worst deals.. He won’t play 30 games in 2011 either… watch.

        My point about a 25-man roster, with 13 pitchers occupying slots (8 starters/5 relievers), is over a 162 game season 11 position players and a DH is not enough manpower to win a division title, if even just one of those slots is occupied by a marginal, inexperienced talent. Injuries to key players are bound to occur every year, as they did this year. There was a time when starting pitchers were expected to go at least 7-8 innings, regularly, and finish at least 1/3rd of their starts. This allowed for a 10-man pitching staff, sometimes even 9. Thus clubs carried 15/16 position and utility players who brought a variety of skills to the field eacn and every day… Perhaps the answer is a 27/28 man roster rather than the present 25-man setup… with 15 other “40-man roster” guys sitting in another dugout, in some other town… playing with Portland and/or Pawtucket.

      • hawkny1 5 years ago

        Why have 2 or 3 starters in the bullpen? If they aren’t conditioned to the rigors of relief work, what good are they to the club? Perhaps that is why Theo is now saying, as he did last year, that the team needs at least two good relievers besides Papelbon and Bard.

        I grew up on Iroquois Street, on Mission Hill, in Roxbury, where the roar of the crowd from Fenway could be heard from one’s back porch. If you know Boston, you know where Mission Hill is. Probably been a Red Sox fan longer than you have been alive. Don’t let log-on handles mislead you.

        What are professional prospects you ask? Take a look at the tail end of our 40-man roster, the roster in Pawtucket and up in Portland. Need I name names? There are at least 10-12-15 players who have already spent 5/6 years in the Red Sox organization, and will never have playing time in the Major Leagues, in Boston. Lesser clubs, like, say, Pittsburgh, Miami, the Astros, Mariners etc….might be willing to give these guys a real shot. So, these players should be added to sweeten pots, to bring an outfielder or two, to Beantown, who can hit with some authority and with power. Better to use these “professional prospects” that way than to continue to keep them in the organization to give the folks in Pawtucket/Portland something to talk about on Mondays or when the big club is playing on the road, and… then, eventually, cut them loose at 28/29 years of age.. (Chris Carter for example)

        Team defense, in the outfield? With Cameron, Hermida and Hall? You jest, right?
        And, yes, it was too bad about Jacoby…. question now is “can he ever come back to his prior skill level?” MacDonald played admirably, considering he had no “break in” time…and
        I enjoyed Nava…but does he really stand a chance to be a regular in Boston? I think not..
        IMHO, paying Cameron $15M, after he was a washout with the Mets, years ago…ranks up there with Theo’s worst deals.. He won’t play 30 games in 2011 either… watch.

        My point about a 25-man roster, with 13 pitchers occupying slots (8 starters/5 relievers), is over a 162 game season 11 position players and a DH is not enough manpower to win a division title, if even just one of those slots is occupied by a marginal, inexperienced talent. Injuries to key players are bound to occur every year, as they did this year. There was a time when starting pitchers were expected to go at least 7-8 innings, regularly, and finish at least 1/3rd of their starts. This allowed for a 10-man pitching staff, sometimes even 9. Thus clubs carried 15/16 position and utility players who brought a variety of skills to the field eacn and every day… Perhaps the answer is a 27/28 man roster rather than the present 25-man setup… with 15 other “40-man roster” guys sitting in another dugout, in some other town… playing with Portland and/or Pawtucket.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Where to begin on this one…
      1) The Sox ended the season with 7 starting pitchers on the active roster, 2 of which were in the bullpen. And if you’re thinking of Bowden, he didn’t make a start for the Sox this year.
      2) Where in that comment does it say “on the 25-man roster.” I’m assuming from the “ny” in your name you’re either a yank or Mets fan… does your team only have 5 starters on their 40 man roster because they believe they’ll get over 30 starts from all 5? Thought not. EVERY team wants to ideally have 2-3 back up starting pitcher in the minors or in their bullpen.
      3) “Professional prospects” I have no idea what that even means…
      4) Umm when Ichiro hits a home run it’s rare… a guy who hits more than 20 hrs a year is not a rare event.
      5) Yeah, the outfield was built on speed and defense. Bad luck and Ellsbury’s suddenly brittle bones made that not work.
      6) Not sure what going through a year with the customary 11 to 12 pitchers on your 25 man roster has anything to do with bad luck injuries of Youk, Pedroia, Cameron, and Ellsbury.

  8. hawkny1 5 years ago

    8 starters on a 25-man roster? Insanity!
    No wonder so many position players fell to injury in 2010…
    How about packaging one ot two of these “starters”, along with a couple of “professional prospects”, into a deal to being in a power bat or two to the Red Sox outfield?
    Except for a rare dinger from Drew the Boston outfield is as bunch of “Punch and Judy” hitters..

  9. jwsox 5 years ago

    I doubt that dice-k not getting traded is true, what i do bet is true is him not getting traded to the mets for beltran. Why would the sox want another out fielder who sustained a major injury last year and has a slight history of injury. Yes when beltran is on he is one of, if not the best center fielders in teh game but he is getting old and hurt…the Bosox dont need that they need to get a younger team asap..

  10. jwsox 5 years ago

    I doubt that dice-k not getting traded is true, what i do bet is true is him not getting traded to the mets for beltran. Why would the sox want another out fielder who sustained a major injury last year and has a slight history of injury. Yes when beltran is on he is one of, if not the best center fielders in teh game but he is getting old and hurt…the Bosox dont need that they need to get a younger team asap..

  11. JDortmunder 5 years ago

    I can think 3+ teams that might have strong interest and I’m not including the mets. But I doubt DiceK –who has a no-trade– wants to leave and the RS aren’t giving him away. I don’t think a deal will happen… Unless they had strong interest in another starter who is available for some reason?

  12. JDortmunder 5 years ago

    I can think 3+ teams that might have strong interest and I’m not including the mets. But I doubt DiceK –who has a no-trade– wants to leave and the RS aren’t giving him away. I don’t think a deal will happen… Unless they had strong interest in another starter who is available for some reason?

  13. Keeping him is the right choice… He’s 50-60 arm depending on health and consistency and is a very attractive marketing chip to the pacific. Sure he costs a lot but is likely worth it based on the revenues he can generate….

  14. RandomN8 5 years ago

    Wasn’t there just a post saying Wakefield is retiring?

    • roomwithamoose 5 years ago

      I thought it said after 2011 he’s retiring, unless I’m mixing up articles

      • No, you’re right. As of now, Wakefield intends to retire after 2011. God bless what he’s done in the past for Boston, but he needs to retire yesterday.

      • No, you’re right. As of now, Wakefield intends to retire after 2011. God bless what he’s done in the past for Boston, but he needs to retire yesterday.

  15. SoxFan99 5 years ago

    Do you people really want theo as your gm? He says he is going to bridge every year, He has been saying that since 08. 4-5 to get some young guys to the majors? And where is that block buster deal we “thought” was coming? He never makes good trades, other then Beckett, Lowell trade, which he pretty much had no part of it. And the huge power bat we were looking for, he gets outbid every time there is a great player on the market (Teixeira).

    • I’m no fan of Theo, but get your facts straight. Theo was not outbid for Teixeira. In order for the Sox to add to their bid for him, they would’ve had to raise ticket prices to justify the extra salary. Given the current state of the economy, the Sox brass thought it would be a mistake to do so.

Leave a Reply