Dice-K Expects to Return This Season


Aug 5, 2009

Dice-K Expects to Return This Season ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Dice-K expects to pitch again this season.

Boston right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka
is scheduled for his first bullpen session Tuesday since going on the
disabled list June 21 with a strain in his pitching shoulder.

Matsuzaka, who has been at the Red
Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., worked out with the
team during a two-game series at Tampa Bay.

He played long toss and threw at 60
feet on flat ground Wednesday, and said his goal, "of course," is to
rejoin the team before the season ends.

Boston manager Terry Francona and
pitching coach John Farrell spent almost an hour each talking with
Matsuzaka, who is 1-5 with an 8.23 ERA in eight starts this year.

It was the first face-to-face meeting
between Matsuzaka and Francona since the pitcher went public with
concerns over how the team was handling his training techniques last

"It was really productive," Francona
said. "Regardless of whether I think he messed up or was wrong, we all
make mistakes. It's where we go from here. That's more important to me
than what happened last week. I felt real good about it and I think he
did, too."

Matsuzaka went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA
last season. He told the reporters in English that he had no intention
of criticizing the team.

"Training no problem," Matsuzaka said. "No problem with Red Sox. We worked it all out."

Matszuaka has been working on improving his English speaking skills on a daily basis.

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