Posted Under: Johanna's View
Adam Kilgore writes about Matsuzaka going on the DL for the Red Sox in today’s Boston Globe. The team blames Matsuzaka playing in the WBC. You know what, if he was throwing too hard in the WBC for where he was in the season, then perhaps the Red Sox, and other teams like them, should have started Matsuzaka on a throwing program earlier. Would that have helped alleviate the fatigue? There is not telling, but rather than teams whining about having no control over the situation, they should take some preventative action.
One problem with the Kilgore piece is that he gets some quotes from Terry Francona about the supervision of Matsuzaka in Japan without following up with the guy who was actually charged with supervising him in Japan.
Each team sends at least one prominent member of the front office to track their players. The idea that the team is really only monitoring the situation from 5,000 miles away is ludicrous. The Red Sox know how many pitches a guy is going to throw in each round of the WBC a head of time. That’s clearly mandated in the rules. They need to set up a better program for preparing those players, so that they build up to that pitch count in a safe way. Starting earlier, if its done right, should not be a problem later in the season. Matsuzaka had arm issues last year, which means its even more important to take preventative measures to make sure he is strong enough for competition by the time the WBC starts. Blame shouldn’t go on the tournament because a team can’t plan to protect their players.