Tim Wakefield to Be Bumped to Bullpen for Daisuke Matsuzaka


Tim Wakefield to Be Bumped to Bullpen for Daisuke Matsuzaka
NESN baseball analyst Peter Gammons has confirmed media reports that Tim Wakefield will be sent to the bullpen when Daisuke Matsuzaka returns to the majors.

Wakefield is unlikely to be happy with the move, according to CSNNE.com. However, the Red Sox ruled out a six-man rotation given that the pitchers are still relatively fresh this early in the season. When summer rolls around and fatigue starts to set in, a six-man rotation could be revisited.

Wakefield is 0-1 on the season with a 6.38 ERA in three starts comprising 18 1/3 innings. He is 11 wins shy of 200 for his career and 17 wins shy of the Red Sox' all-time wins record of 192, shared by Roger Clemens and Cy Young.

Wakefield signed a two-year deal in the offseason with the hope that he would be able to break the record.

He last saw time in the bullpen in 2004, appearing twice in relief while making 30 starts. His last extended stint as a reliever was 2002, the final year of a four-year stretch where he was predominantly a reliever for the Red Sox.

Matsuzaka has made three rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket as he works his way back from a sore back and neck. His 2009 was derailed due to injuries as well, but the right-hander went 18-3 in 2008.

Clay Buchholz was the other candidate to be shifted to the bullpen, but it appears that he will remain a starter. He is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts on the season heading into Thursday's affair with the Rangers.

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