BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox may be getting some help in their rotation sooner rather than later when it comes to Diasuke Matsuzaka.
Matsuzaka is set to make a rehab start for Single-A Salem on Monday, just 10 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said last week that Matsuzaka has been feeling good, and is ready to make the leap from rehab to some game-style competition.
“Dice-K has been feeling pretty good. He’s ready to start dealing with competition rather than rehabilitation,” Valentine said at Fenway Park on Friday. “We’ll monitor his pitches. He won’t have any 30-pitch innings. He says he feels good.”
Matsuzaka is expected to throw 75 pitches on Monday and if all goes well will make a start every five days for the next month.
Baring any setbacks, Matsuzaka could be ready to return to the Majors in about a month.
While the rotation has been an issue for Boston, it is not the most glaring issue right now. The Sox own the worst bullpen in the majors, and the return of Matsuzaka to the rotation would allow either Daniel Bard or Felix Doubront to slide into the pen.
Matsuzaka was 3-3 with a 5.03 ERA in eight games for Boston in 2011 before being sidelined in mid-May.