Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
The Sox are planning to activate Matsuzaka off the disabled list and start him against the Washington Nationals Saturday afternoon. He had his surgery last June 10.
Matsuzaka will replace Daniel Bard in the rotation. Bard was optioned to Triple A Pawtucket Tuesday.
Matsuzaka made six minor league rehabilitation starts, going 0-3 with a 3.65 earned run average. He totaled 37 innings and gave up 31 hits with nine walks and 30 strikeouts.
As is often the case, Matsuzaka had problems with high pitch counts and at one point had his rehab assignment stopped because of a problem with a neck muscle.
“He says he feels fine,’’ manager Bobby Valentine said after speaking to Matsuzaka. “His arm feels good, his body’s in good shape.’’
Globe: Dice-K set to return
I don't know if it's from all the frustration from watching Daniel Bard pitch but I'm excited to see Dice-K back on the mound. It's always good to see a pitcher return from Tommy John surgery and for Matsuzaka, it's a little earlier than expected which is a plus.
Matsuzaka has a lot to prove in the final year of his contract. Not only that he's 100% healthy but that he can throw more strikes and stick to the pitches that are working when he itches. He's done well down in Pawtucket limited his walks: only nine of them in six starts. If he can keep that control and not leave any gyroballs fastballs down the middle of the plate, Dice-K will be one of the better stories to watch this season.
Rest of the Links: Globe:Orioles win again at Fenway | Sox fans fashionably late | Herald: Bats, words fail Red Sox | A quick fix up for Bard | Pitchers catch on to Salty | CSNNE: Sox lose third straight | Sox drop Gonzalez to sixth | Matsuzaka is ready to pitch | WEEI:In search of the old Adrian | What went wrong in loss