Links 4-27-2010: Dice-K Saturday, Lowell cleanup, Atchison demoted, Westmoreland out of the hospital

Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 69 pitches in a simulated game yesterday, and made a good impression on both Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell. Matsuzaka is expected to take the ball Saturday in Baltimore. He seems motivated to pitch well again, and that can only be a good thing.

David Ortiz sat again last night with lefty Dana Eveland on the mound, and Mike Lowell was inserted as the DH, batting cleanup in yesterday’s lineup. It’s becoming a very good thing that he wasn’t traded this offseason – it’s hard to argue with the production we’ve been getting out of him as a part-time player, and his numbers are simply increasing his trade value.

Scott Atchison knew that it was coming, but it happened a little sooner than we anticipated. After blowing through the bullpen in yesterday’s slugfest, the Sox sent him down and recalled LHP Fabio Castro. We’d expect Castro to be returned to Pawtucket once Matsuzaka is added to the active roster.

Ryan Westmoreland was finally released from the hospital today. We wish him the best of luck in his continued recovery.

Marco Scutaro returned to Toronto for the first time yesterday, and came to the plate to a chorus of boos. Real classy, considering that the Blue Jays didn’t even attempt to re-sign him. But these fans seem to be hostile to any former players coming back, including Alex Rios, who was traded away by their front office. Go figure.

Curt Schilling set himself up for some second-guessing this week when he said on ESPN Radio that Javier Vazquez is a great NL starter, but he “can’t get it done” in the AL. While pitching in the AL East is certainly more difficult than the NL East, I think you’d be hard-pressed to prove that kind of statement. Unless there’s something psychological going on, Vazquez looks to be a solid starter for NY, this year’s terrible starts notwithstanding.


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