John Farrell: ‘Outside Chance’ Daisuke Matsuzaka is Ready by Opening Day

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So there's a battle between Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield for the fifth spot in the Red Sox' rotation this spring, right?

Wrong.

According to ESPN.com's Joe McDonald, pitching coach John Farrell admits that righty Daisuke Matsuzaka has an "outside chance" of being healthy enough to go by Opening Day. Matsuzaka was expected to be the team's fourth starter while Buchholz and Wakefield would battle this spring for the fifth and final spot.

As of Friday, it looks as though that battle will be for the fourth spot while Dice-K rehabs.

Matsuzaka got off to a slow start in Fort Myers as he sat out early workouts with a sore back. On Friday, the fourth-year Red Sox starter threw 53 pitches in his first bullpen session, although only 12 were thrown to a catcher in the squatting position.

Farrell also said that the righty's first full-fledged bullpen session will be on Sunday, which means that Dice-K is likely to be about 10 days away from pitching in a live game.

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