The Boston Red Sox have placed starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list due to weakness in his right shoulder, although he is unlikely to return immediately when he is eligible to be activated. This is his second stint on the DL this year after having been sidelined from April 15 to May 22 with a mild right shoulder strain.
Manager Terry Francona cited the World Baseball Classic as the main reason for Dice-K's struggles this year, claiming that being away from the Red Sox in spring training resulted in reduced velocity because his arm wasn't properly strengthened. Dice-K is expected to report to Fort Myers, Fla., during the upcoming team's road trip. Francona has stated that Matsuzaka's trip to the DL won't be a "two-week" stint.
Matsuzaka is 1-5 with an 8.23 ERA through eight starts and opponents are batting .378 against him – a stark contrast to his stats from last season. In 2008, he posted an 18-3 record with a 2.90 ERA, limiting opposing hitters to a .211 mark. In his most recent start Friday, June 19, he allowed six runs on eight hits and four walks in four-plus innings against the Atlanta Braves. He underwent an MRI exam the following day, which revealed no structural damage.
If you had him on your bench in shallow mixed leagues, feel free to discard him if you don't have any room on your DL; only do this if you can't spare the room, though. Owners in deep mixed and AL-only leagues should stash him on a vacant DL spot.
Even before the Red Sox placed Dice-K on the disabled list, team officials had already scheduled John Smoltz (shoulder) to pitch in Matsuzaka's spot Thursday, June 25, against the Washington Nationals. Smoltz has looked impressive in his recent minor league rehab starts, even adding a changeup to his already solid repertoire. He merits consideration in deep mixed and AL-only leagues and should be on watch lists in shallow leagues.
About Jared Byrd
Byrd has served as a Hot Off the Wire Analyst with KFFL since 2003,
covering both the NFL and MLB. A recent graduate of the University of
Pennsylvania, he has played fantasy football since 1997, and fantasy
baseball, basketball, and hockey since 2001.
Don't miss these great reports....