After $51 million posting, Daisuke Matsuzaka signed 6 years, $52 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. He went 33-15 with 3.72 ERA in his first two years with the team, but 16-15 since, posting ERA of 5.03. He had Tommy John surgery on June 10, 2011, operation performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum.
Entering the last year of his contract, there was an interesting story in the Globe: “Valentine says he can turn Daisuke Matsuzaka around” written by Nick Cafardo.
“The biggest difference I think with Bobby is he knew me when I was in Japan and he knew how I pitched when I was at my best,’’ Matsuzaka said through interpreter Jeff Cutler. “So having him see that and having him see me now – when I’m not at my best and when I’m still working on my mechanics and trying to get back to my best – it’s good to know that someone is familiar with the differences in those areas.
“In that way, I’m very lucky.’’
Valentine offers pointers based on what he remembers of him as a successful pitcher. While Valentine never thought of Matsuzaka as dominant, he remembers him as a competitive pitcher who never gave in to a batter and didn’t nibble at the corners the way Matsuzaka has been wont to do the last couple of years.
Valentine has urged Matsuzaka to be more like the pitcher he was in Japan, to use his entire repertoire and pitch the way he feels most comfortable. He feels Matsuzaka could give the team a shot in the arm when he returns.