Pitching coach John Farrell said Monday that Matsuzaka is penciled in to pitch in Washington on Saturday before making three minor league starts. The extra work is in an effort to get him ready for the regular season, which could begin for him by April 23.
Assuming the club wants him to pitch in the comforts of a home venue, Matsuzaka may make those three starts for Pawtucket on April 8 and April 13 and finish up his three-start assignment in Portland, which is opening at home on April 18.
Although no plans have been set in stone regarding the exact dates and locations of his starts, the team has already decided that it will not be leaving him behind in Florida when they head north later this week.
"Ideally we would be able to do it at an affiliate where we would be able to get more of an atmosphere, other adrenaline type things to have to contend with," said Farrell. "The speed of the game will be much greater at one of the affiliates rather than down here."
Matsuzaka threw 62 pitches in a simulated game at the minor league complex on Monday.
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