AP Photo/Winslow Townson
After missing almost a month of action because of mild rotator cuff strain, there was little redeeming about Dice-K's return to the Red Sox rotation. He managed to log just one inning of action against the Cardinals on Saturday, allowing six hits, three walks and seven earned runs before departing.
He left the game with the bases loaded and nobody out, and his final three runs scored when Troy Glaus greeted reliever Chris Smith with a grand slam.
Matsuzaka told the Red Sox media through an interpreter, "I don't think there is any problem," referring to the rotator cuff strain, so hopefully we can just chalk this outing up to plain 'ol rust.
Matsuzaka fell behind almost every hitter and had to come in with poorly located fastballs over the heart of the plate, which the Cardinals took advantage of it. He just wasn't locating and his secondary stuff obviously wasn't sharp.
The fact is this outing might create an opportunity to add Matsuzaka to your roster at a discount price.
Yes, he has walked too many batters this season (41 in 65 innings). Yes, he has missed time due to injury, and yes, getting rocked in his first start after coming back from that injury doesn't instill you with a lot of confidence, but he should bounce back. His win potential and strikeout ability are still there, and his command should return as he gets back into the swing of things.
The cost of acquisition might never be lower if you want to try and add him to your roster. He should have a solid second half of the season.
Marcus Thames hit a pinch-hit two-run homer, giving him eight homers in his past 10 games and nine in his past 13. What can you say other than it's a fun hot streak to ride while it lasts, which won't be too much longer. Luis Mendoza picked up a save of the three-inning variety as the Rangers blew out the Nationals in the later innings. The Nationals' Garrett Mock showed some NL-only potential, even though he allowed four runs in six innings of work in his second start of the season. He struck out eight and walked just one, and 17 of his 18 outs were either strikeouts or groundballs. He was sent back to Triple-A after the game, but will be back eventually. Toronto's Jesse Litsch continues to come back to earth. He was hit hard for the fourth consecutive start, allowing six runs in six innings, and his lack of a true out pitch is starting to become more and more of a factor. A rebound from this poor stretch is not a guarantee. Oakland's Dana Eveland showed improved control compared to his recent outings, and threw his third straight quality start. The big factor in keeping his ERA low is that he has allowed just three homers all season, and if he continues to keep the ball down in the strike zone, he can continue to be effective. Seth McClung threw his fourth straight quality start despite some of his old control problems rearing their ugly heads, as he walked five. Still, he has a 3.93 ERA in six starts since joining the Brewers' rotation, and is a viable option in NL leagues. Jeff Mathis went 0-for-4 with a run scored on Saturday, but has clearly taken over as the starting catcher for the Angels. Vladimir Guerrero blasted two homers off Brett Myers, who continues to have inconsistent velocity recently. Fred Lewis went 1-for-4 with a run scored to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. After a rough May in which Lewis hit .204, he's batting .324 in June. Kansas City's Gil Meche posted his third strong start in a row, striking out seven over 5 2/3 innings, and appears to have finally turned the corner. Mark Reynolds left during Saturday's game in the seventh inning after fouling a ball off his foot. He's day-to-day at the moment. After having his start pushed back because of a sore elbow, Minnesota's Nick Blackburn allowed just three hits and one run in seven innings against the D-backs, continuing his solid season. Miguel Batista blew the save chance on Saturday with Brandon Morrow unavailable for the weekend series. Both Chipper Jones (quad) and Yunel Escobar (hip) were able to pinch-hit on Saturday as they work through some injuries. Doug Brocail got the save opportunity for the Astros on Saturday because Jose Valverde had either pitched or warmed up four consecutive nights. Brocail blew the save, allowing two runs without recording an out. After allowing one run and racking up 10 strikeouts in seven innings on a brutally hot day in Los Angeles (against the Dodgers), C.C. Sabathia now has a 2.14 ERA over his past 12 outings, with 93 strikeouts in 88 1/3 innings. J.D. Drew hit another homer, giving him 10 this month to go along with a .424 batting average. Dewayne Wise homered on Saturday, and he should see the bulk of playing time in center field for the White Sox against right-handed pitching until Paul Konerko returns. The expected fall of the White Sox's Jose Contreras continues, as the Cubs roughed him up on Saturday. Contreras has a 7.43 ERA in four starts this month, and is looking more and more like the pitcher who limped to the finish line last season. Dan Giese allowed three runs, but no earned runs, in 6 2/3 innings in his first big-league start. The 31-year-old journeyman and career reliever is not recommended, though. Brad Hawpe's surge since coming back from the disabled list continues. Since returning to the active lineup June 6, Hawpe has hit .327 with six homers and 12 RBIs after going yard again on Saturday. Don't look now, but Ubaldo Jimenez is starting to become a potential option. He has a 2.90 ERA in five starts this month, and a 2.82 ERA at home this season, as opposed to 6.75 on the road. Joe Saunders tied for the major league lead with his 11th victory, but you have to think his inability to put hitters away (just 49 strikeouts on the season, 4.4 per nine innings) might catch up to him sooner or later. His .244 average on balls in play also has indicated quite a bit of luck.
Jermaine Dye, White Sox
Dye is quietly having another solid season. After hitting his 16th homer on Saturday, he's now on pace for 34 jacks. He should continue to hit well during the summer months.
Rich Hill, Cubs
Remember Hill? You know, the guy who looked like the future ace of the Cubs' rotation? Well, pitching for the first time in nine days on Friday night, he allowed six runs in one-third of an inning at Triple-A. He's gone, and all but forgotten at this point.
Adrian Beltre was a late scratch on Saturday because of a bruised index finger. He's day-to-day. Aaron Hill is back to square one in his return from a concussion, according to the team Web site. He's out indefinitely. He won't participate in baseball activities for at least two weeks. Ryan Church, trying to return from two concussions this season, will take batting practice on Monday, and hopes to begin a rehab assignment after that. Ryan Doumit continues to feel the effects of his own concussion and is still day-to-day. Jason Schmidt (shoulder) might begin a rehab assignment for the Dodgers this week. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the chance of Tom Glavine needing season-ending elbow surgery are increasing. Nick Punto (hamstring) is expected from the disabled list on Tuesday and should grab at least a share of the starting shortstop job for the Twins. Rickie Weeks (knee) will return to the Brewers' lineup on Sunday after a stint on the DL. Josh Willingham will be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday if all goes well in his rehab from back issues this weekend. Todd Wellemeyer's bullpen session on Saturday went well, and he's on track to rejoin the Cardinals rotation on Thursday after experiencing elbow trouble. Rafael Furcal told the L.A. Times he's at "90 percent" with his bad back and hopes to return to the Dodgers' lineup by the All-Star break. Roy Halladay is fine after taking ball off of his temple on Friday night, and he will make his next start.
"While [J.D.] Drew has benefited from greater familiarity with American League pitching staffs in his second tour of the league, hitting coach Dave Magadan also credits a new, more user-friendly approach. The spray charts don't necessarily reflect it, but Magadan said Drew became too pull-conscious last year and failed to take advantage of the Fenway Park Green Monster, which should provide an inviting target when he's in sync."
-- Jerry Crasnick Full Story
• To make room for Dice-K, the Red Sox put the ineffective Mike Timlin on the disabled list with what is being called knee tendinitis.
• The Reds called up Daryl Thompson from Triple-A to join their rotation, and he pitched five shutout innings against the Yankees. He's not recommended, though. The 22-year-old might ultimately be a little too hittable at the big-league level. Meanwhile, Jolbert Cabrera went on the disabled list with a dislocated finger.
• The Blue Jays placed Shaun Marcum on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, and he will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday, according to the Toronto Globe and Mail. Either John Parrish or Kane Davis will take his spot in the rotation, and neither is worthy of fantasy consideration. Adam Lind was recalled from Triple-A, and like we say every other time he has been up in the big leagues, he will hit if given an extended opportunity to play.
• The Braves called up Brent Lillibridge for short-term infield depth as they work through some injuries.
• The Royals released Brett Tomko to the indifference of fantasy owners everywhere.
• In his first start since returning to Triple-A, Homer Bailey allowed three runs on 10 hits in eight innings of work, with no walks and seven strikeouts. He'll be back and be better at the big-league level at some point in the second half.
• One of the Indians' top pitching prospects, David Huff, worked seven shutout innings on Saturday for Triple-A Buffalo, striking out nine. He gave up five hits and didn't walk a batter. After posting a 1.92 ERA in 11 games at Double-A, Huff has a 25-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 3.00 ERA in four Triple-A starts. Pay very close attention, especially in keeper and dynasty leagues.
• David Price gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings in his sixth start at high Class A. He walked two and struck out seven. Price has posted a 1.82 ERA in the first six starts of his professional career, and has yet to give up a homer. He has struck out 37 and walked seven in 34 2/3 innings. There is a slight possibility we could see him in the big leagues this season, perhaps in September.