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 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.

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