Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is four months removed from Tommy John surgery, showcased his stuff in front of new pitching coach Bob McClure with a 40-pitch side session on Saturday. Dice-K, who's been criticized for abandoning his breaking pitches over the last few years, reportedly mixed in a few in his session.
Matsuzaka went down with an elbow injury last June, which required him to have Tommy John surgery shortly after. McClure told WEEI on Saturday that he was very impressed with what he saw out of the Japanese product.
"As far as from what I'm seeing from a health standpoint, it was hard to tell he was ever even hurt from the way he's throwing the baseball right now," said McClure. "That doesn't mean he's ready, by no means. I'm just saying it's free and easy, it's coming out of his hand really good. It's clean, it looks sharp. Looks like he's on schedule."
With uncertainty surrounding them, a healthy and effective Matsuzaka come July or August could really go a long way for the Red Sox pitching rotation. Since recording a stellar 18-3 season back in 2008, Dice-K has fallen from grace. He's only totaled a 16-15 record with a 5.25 ERA since 2009.