BOSTON (CBS) – Daisuke Matsuzaka is working his way through the minors as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery, making his first Triple-A appearance of his rehab assignment Monday night.
Matsuzaka went 4.2 scoreless innings for the Pawtucket Red Sox Monday night against the Rochester Red Wings, allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out four. The Sox’ righty threw 49 of his 87 pitches for strikes.
Stats: PawSox Box Score
This was Matsuzaka’s third outing of his rehab assignment, and will likely make one more Triple-A start before potentially rejoining the Boston rotation. In his three starts so far, Matsuzaka has 14 strikeouts and five walks over 12.2 innings pitched. He has yet to pitch five complete innings in any outing (tossing 4.2 innings twice) but Monday’s 87 pitches are an assignment-high.
There is a 30-day window from the start of the rehab assignment for Matsuzaka to return to the majors. He could make as many as three more starts before the window runs out.
It will be interesting to see how the Red Sox use Matsuzaka when he is able to return. They are currently set with their starting rotation, although Clay Buchholz’ has been less than impressive over his first six starts of the season. Matsuzaka will likely have to be used as a starter, so Buchholz or Felix Doubront could find themselves in the bullpen (or Buchholz could be sent down to the minors) to make way for Dice-K.