Blog Entry

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

Posted on: April 12, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 1:00 pm

Daisuke Matsuzka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Last night was Daisuke Matsuzaka's 100th career start in the big leagues -- and many in Boston are calling for it to be his last.

A Tampa offense that took five games to score seven runs this season needed only two innings to match that mark against Matsuzaka on Monday, an eventual 16-5 loss to the Red Sox.

In his 100 starts with the Red Sox, Matsuzaka's gone 46-29 with a 4.28 ERA and 1.408 WHIP, striking out 546, with those strikeout numbers decreasing with every year he's spent in the United States. His strikeout rate has gone from 8.8 per nine innings in 2007 to 7.8 last season and 5.1 in his two starts this season. Since his fourth-place finish in the Cy Young race in 2008, he's gone 13-14 with a 5.34 ERA.

In 2007, Matsuzaka had more hype than an iPad and the Red Sox paid a Steve Jobs-level price tag, too. Boston spend $51,111,111.11 just to negotiate with Matsuzaka before signing him to a six-year, $52 million contract. With two years and $20 million left on that contract, he's going to be tough to trade -- not even taking into account his no-trade clause.

The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham wrote this Tuesday morning:

The Red Sox would have to eat a bunch of money and they probably wouldn't get much back for him, maybe just a couple of mid-level prospects.

But it has to be done.

That sounds like a stretch, too. While Fenway Park isn't the kindest of habitats for pitchers, it doesn't appear a simple change of scenery is going to turn Matsuzaka around. His numbers are better on the road -- 23-13, 3.88 ERA and 1.355 WHIP away from Fenway and 23-16 with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.465 WHIP at home -- but not so dramatically different for some team to take much of a chance on Matsuzaka.

Matsuzaka may or may not accept a trade, but who do the Red Sox have to replace him in the rotation? The answer is not much.

Tim Wakefield, 44, wasn't much better than Matsuzaka, relieving him and lasting just 3 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs with no strikeouts.

The next choice would likely be 28-year-old right-hander Alfredo Aceves. In three games this season, he's allowed three hits and two earned runs, striking out five in 5 2/3 innings. Aceves started four games for the Yankees in 2008, but just one game since.

Lefty Felix Doubront has started in the past, but his injury history -- including a sore elbow in spring -- could make the team gun-shy about putting him in the rotation.

At the minor-league level, the choices aren't a whole lot better, with the top two likely being veterans Matt Fox or Brandon Duckworth. 

Fox, 28, started one game for the Twins last season before the team waived him. The Red Sox picked up the former first-rounder and he pitched three games out of the bullpen last season.

Duckworth, 35, is 23-34 with a 4.50 ERA in 134 appearances and is 20-30 with a 5.11 ERA in 84 career starts with the Phillies, Astros and Royals.

As bad as Matsuzaka has been, Aceves may be the only option with a chance to be better, and he only has five starts in his MLB career.

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Since: Feb 13, 2011
Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:32 pm

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

Wouldnt say he was a bust since crossing the pond. He was pretty good helping to win that 2007 WS . Kinda went down hill after that 

Dont see that side of him coming back . He needs to go pitch in Pawtucket for awhile Maybe even stay there but according to Francona  he is staying in the starting line up.

Since: Apr 14, 2011
Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:05 am

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

I probably would try him in the pen first then maybe show him the door. 

Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: April 14, 2011 5:09 am

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

Saltalamacchia needs major league experience, Dice-K doesn't, and with Tek last year, he still sucked. Give Salt a chance, we've given Dice-K years of a chance. And I think Lackey is horrible

Since: Apr 13, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 11:11 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: April 13, 2011 7:43 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:16 pm

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

this is one conversation us Yankee fans should stay out of - we paid a fortune to Ki Agawa becasue we lost out on Dice-K

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: April 13, 2011 2:27 pm

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

Being a Yankees fn I almost have tears in my eyes (from laughing) about all this.  They should have never gottne into the hype of getting this guy.  I mean the Yanks have made some bad deals in the past but $51 mil JUST TO TALK TO THE GUY.  He's been a bust since crossing the pond.  I thank everything I can dailey that he didn't go to NY (although gong to the Mets would have caused tears too).  They'll get nothing for him in the open market, there best chance to get something out of him would be to stick him t=in the pen and let him be their middle relief for the next two years.  Maybe taking the pressure off of starting him will turn him around. 

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: April 13, 2011 1:16 pm

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

I say YES!

Since: Dec 20, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:40 am

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

No. It is time to replace Saltalamacia (Sp). I was watching Dice-K  zt first, then switched to the catching. EVERY target was right down the middle just above the knees. That is where most of the pitches were. I watched Tex last night and the only time his target was in the center of the plate was where he wanted Jon to start his curve.... Pitchers are TAUGHT to go for the catches target and to try to hit it. That shows control. The only time SValt. should catch is when Lackey is pitching cuz he can't hit ant target......


Since: Nov 26, 2010
Posted on: April 12, 2011 5:59 pm

Is it time for Boston to ditch Matsuzaka?

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