More preseason notes

Tony Massarotti reports on the pressure cooker of expectations Red Sox Nation has for Clay Buchholz. The Sox need to start this guy in the minors, both to save his arm for the stretch run, as well as to protect him from the fans, who want at least two no-hitters this season (possible, yes, but totally unreasonable). It’s actually kind of a good thing his Spring wasn’t so great, so that Boston has a good excuse to send him down. I’d look for Bartolo Colon to begin the year in the five slot.

Terumasa MatsuoThe Sox signed right-handed Japanese pitcher Terumasa Matsuo to a minor league deal, who will report to extended Spring Training. The diminutive 26-year old was the top pitcher (and last year’s MVP) in the Shikoku Island League, a six-team independent league. Said Jon Deeble, Pacific Rim coordinator for the Sox:

He has shown us the ability to throw the ball past the bat as evident of his high strikeout numbers and his ability to throw four pitches for strikes. He is a hard working kid who really loves to pitch.

Matsuo, who is listed at just 5′ 9″ and 165 lbs, began as a closer in 2005, and was shifted to a starting role in 2006. He’s gone 26-5 with an ERA below 1.80 the past two seasons, so he’s mildly interesting at this point. The Sox may be looking at him as a possible bullpen addition, a righty to complement Hideki Okajima. I can’t imagine they’d consider him as a starting prospect.

Just a note: Eric Hinske has been named Tampa Bay’s Opening Day right fielder. Good for him, not so good for the Rays. Still want to place that 89-win bet?


4 Responses to More preseason notes

  1. Pat says:

    I hope Bartolo can start the year as our #5. I’d rather Clay be our secret weapon for later in the year than Colon. Buchholz also showed that he needs a little time to prepare, which is fine.

    I just hope we can deal out Taverez or Snyder (preferably Taverez) soon. I’d rather we didn’t have both of them when we have Buchholz and Colon as legitimate 5s.

  2. redsoxtalk says:

    Yeah, there’s been a lot of injuries to starters around baseball, and it would be nice for Tavarez to be traded; however, there are a lot of free agents out there who are kind of equivalent to him, so I doubt teams want him so badly they’d trade a player AND pay him close to $4M.

  3. Pingback: Colon impressive in minor league start « Red Sox Talk

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