Cautious Red Sox place Dice-K on 15-day DL with shoulder strain
BALTIMORE -- Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday by the Boston Red Sox, who opted to take a cautious approach after an MRI exam revealed a mild strain of his right rotator cuff.
"The real good news is there were no structural changes," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "The best way we can see to attack this, we'll DL him, take the time down and get him ready to pitch the rest of the season. That's kind of where we are."
The move was retroactive to Wednesday. Matsuzaka is 8-0 with a 2.53 ERA in 11 starts this season. Opponents are batting .195 against him.
Francona said Dice-K put up a mild protest, hoping to pitch through the injury.
"I think that's first of all good news because it means he feels good about himself," the manager said. "That's what good pitchers and good players do. That's part of the reason they're good."
Matsuzaka joins Boston starter Clay Buchholz [finger] on the disabled list. Buchholz was scheduled to pitch Friday night in a rehabilitative assignment for Triple-Pawtucket.
Asked what the loss of Matsuzaka does to the rotation, Francona replied, "Nothing for right now, just keep everybody on track. On Tuesday, we'll need a starter [against Tampa Bay]."
To replace Matsuzaka on the roster, the Red Sox recalled first baseman/outfielder Jeff Bailey from Triple-A Pawtucket. He was batting .318 with 16 homers and 44 RBIs.
"He knows this could be short term," Francona said. "When we send guys down we always tell them if you do good there's a chance you'll get called up. He got called up. He's a great kid. He's always made a good impression on the staff in spring training. He does his work. Doesn't complain."
Francona was not immediately sure how he would use Bailey, who played in three games with the Red Sox last season.
"He's done a little bit more work in right field now which helps a little bit here, maybe the next couple of days," Francona said. "It gives us a little flexibility, gives us that right-handed bat."
Right fielder J.D. Drew has been battling vertigo and was not in the starting lineup Friday night against Baltimore.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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