Daisuke Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka is still getting acclimated in bullpen

Mets RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka is still getting acclimated pitching in relief, he told reporter Mike Vorkunov (Star-Ledger, May 1).

“I feel more comfortable by taking my time and just doing things to be ready for an extended amount of time instead of going out there and throwing,” Matsuzaka told Vorkunov. “It’s something that’s tough to do rather than something I’m enjoying right now. I’m still trying to get used to it. I’m just trying to get into a rhythm.”

Matsuzaka has let up just one run in 7 2/3 innings (1.17 ERA) during six relief appearances this season, while striking out 11 of the 30 batters he’s faced.

He got his first big-league save last week, pitching a perfect ninth inning against the Cardinals.

Terry Collins has said Kyle Farnsworth is still his primary closer, despite Matsuzaka, Jose Valverde and Carlos Torres all having at least one save this season.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Apr. 25: Matsuzaka is tough minded, experienced, he loves baseball, he loves pitching, he loves the spotlight and he loves to be in pressurized moments. However, he also takes forever to warm up and he doesn’t always keep the ball in the strikezone. So, while he may have the mental make-up to pitch late in games, I’m concerned about his physical ability to keep succeeding in this role. I know bullpen coach Ricky Bones is working him on cutting down his 2-3 inning warm-up time, so that’s a start. He’s up to the challenge, I’m told. He’d prefer to be a starter, obviously, but more than anything he wants to be involved and play an important role in in the team’s success. So, so far so good…




17 comments
cmetsfan
cmetsfan

Sounds like he doesn't want to do it, but if he's good they gotta convince him. Some kind of bonus thing.

7up17_2go
7up17_2go

I just think that Mejia should be closing and Dice K should be back in the starting rotation.  Each of these guys seems better in those roles.

C Nerrie
C Nerrie

I've wondered why relief pitchers didn't spend their time in the bullpen periodically loosening up and very  gently throwing, which would keep them limber but not heat up their arm.  This would slowly move them towards being ready for a final effort to actually warm up and get ready to pitch - rather than sitting on a bench.

How many times have we seen pitchers jump from the bench and hurriedly stretch and start throwing.  Never seemed to be sensible, but what do I know about pitching.

Anyway, I'm glad Daisuke is using his head.  

I just hope someone doesn't try to push him into something else just because they've always done it that way.

Ben Fortney
Ben Fortney

I don't get why everybody's all worked up about how long or how many pitches he throws in the bullpen. Japanese pitchers throw INSANE amounts of pitches by US standards. Of course a guy who has prepped for starts the same way for 20 years is going to have a different routine now that he's in the bullpen than an everyday reliever.


I think the bigger challenge will be to adjust his mental approach to batters so that he's using his best "bullets" for the 3/4 batters he faces instead of holding them back as if he's pitching 7 innings.

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

What kind of a writer writes "let up". How about correct English...like "He ALLOWED three runs" for example. Let up? Are you serious?

bitencurl
bitencurl

He refuses to learn to warm up a normal way until Dan Warthen is banned for life by Major League Baseball, I fully expect commissioner Bud Selig to do what is right here.

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

Tough minded, experienced and LOVES baseball, loves pitching AND the spotlight!

So happy that was a line that got recycled, lol.

ericccb
ericccb

Would not be surprised to see him become our full time closer. I know he takes a LONG time to warm up and that isn't ideal, but he was very successful towards the end of last year and so far this year.


Gives me more faith than Farnsworth. I for one am rooting for him. 

bitencurl
bitencurl

I'm really puling for Andrew Dice-K to grab the closer role, dominate, and be a huge story in MLB this year.

Doubleday
Doubleday

@brian2740  Matsuzaka wants a job.  Period.  He does not have to work another day in his life, with all the money he got from the Red Sox, so the only thing driving him is honor.  And yes, Japanese baseball is different.  If a pitcher comes out of the game he doesn't take a shower, he goes to the bullpen to show his teammates and the fans that he will try harder next time.  I like the Japanese game - I think it is a little closer to how the game originated,

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@7up17_2go Some hard-hitting analysis there.

If Mejia CAN start and continues to produce, you don't touch him.  Dice-K shouldn't be accomated on any level. He's an older guy that hasn't been very productive in years.  There's a good chance he can adapt to this new role as being a long man and that's where he should stay.

Greg Baker
Greg Baker

@7up17_2go Mejia is adamant about wanting to be a starter. The Mets have messed with him enough. Just let him be and enjoy the ride.

10sfilter
10sfilter

@Ed Renner Basically any baseball writer.  Google search: let up 3 runs: About 319,000,000 results (0.33 seconds) Allowed 3 runs to score:  About 255,000,000 results (0.34 seconds) practically interchangeable. 

mets2014
mets2014

@ericccb I would rather use him in less games per week but for more innings per appearance...that would help prevent the bullpen from being overused...for example use him for 2 to 3 innings per appearance 2 or 3 times per week...ideally the starter could go the first 6 or 7 and he could close out the games in which he appears

7up17_2go
7up17_2go

@BringBackDaveTelghe @7up17_2go  Why are you poking me....are you looking for a battle?  Just my opinion dude.  Mejia CAN pitch 3-5 solid innings, then he hits a wall.  He's usually lights out, then inevitably in the 5th or 6th inning guys start raking on him (Exhibit 1:  Sat Night)  Just my opinion that he seems more suited to the closer's role.  Dice K was solid in his outings in ST, in Vegas and  the last 3 or so last year.  He's a proven starter, and would be a decent #5 guy..