Trying to make a comeback after pitching in just 11 games last season with Boston following elbow reconstruction surgery, Matsuzaka may accept an offer to stay in the club’s minor league camp. The 32-year-old Japanese right-hander was trying to win a spot in Cleveland’s rotation.
“We would like to keep both guys in the organization,” Antonetti said. “Neither guy was set to make the opening day roster. We thought we would inform them now and let them know we want to keep them in camp to help them get back to full strength. If and when they do we think they both can help us.
Matsuzaka expressed an interest in staying with Cleveland. He will be paid $18,000 a month if he stays in the organization at the minor league level. Details will need to be worked out with Matsuzaka’s agent, Scott Boras.
“This is the first time, I’ve been in this situation. I did not know what to expect,” Masuzaka said through his interpretor. “The teammates have been great; the staff has been great, taking care of me and helping me get better. I really appreciate what the organization has done for me.”
“We should have more information in the next day or two,” Antonetti said.
“We figured it made sense to address the issue sooner,” Antonetti said. “In our minds, we had clarity at this point that neither guy would be in position to make the opening-day roster. As a courtesy to them we informed them early.”
Antonetti thinks a deal to keep the players can be worked out before the deadline.
“My goal was to make it to the big leagues but I wasn’t able to survive that competition,” Matsuzaka said. “It is not the end The organization has given me an opportunity to pitch in the minor leagues. I take that for what it is. I will do what I can to improve so I can contribute to the big league team somewhere down the line. In speaking to Tito and Chris, they see me as someone who can help them.”
Matsuzaka was competing with Carlos Carrasco and Scott Kazmir, another non-roster pitcher, for the fifth and final opening in the starting rotation. Matsuzaka pitched in four games this spring training, allowing two runs and 10 hits in eight innings.
“Daisuke was a little behind coming in. He hadn’t thrown any bullpens,” Francona said. “Then he had the calf (injury) and was only out for three innings, so it’s not realistic that he is ready innings wise, nor are we seeing what we want to see as a pitcher, or what he thinks he can show as a pitcher. I think we’re on the same page.”View Entire Story
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