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Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Matsui, Kenshin Kawakami

by on Mar.18, 2010 @ 1:26 pm, under MLB

Hideki Okajima tossed an inning in relief against the New York Mets on the 17th.  He faced four batters and gave up one hit and struck out two.  Okajima told reporters after the game that while he was happy with his change, he still needed to work on his fastball.

Daisuke Matsuzaka tossed his first BP of the Spring on the 17th.  Facing AAA batters, he threw 40 pitches (curve, slider, cutter, change, shuto) and allowed 3 could-be hits.  Nikkan Sports also mentions he tossed an additional 12 pitches without a net in front of him.  Matsuzaka could get a minor league start as early as the 21st (2 innings or so).  But that would also likely require a bullpen on the 19th.

The Red Sox have the day off on the 18th.

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Kazuo Matsui started at second and batted second against the Washington Nationals on the 17th.  He walked in all three trips to the plate and was removed in the 5th on defense.

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Akinori Iwamura started at second and batted second against the Detroit Tigers on the 17th.  He went 0-for-3: fly out to left, strike out, fly out to left.  Iwamura was taken out in the 7th on defense.

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Hideki Matsui was the starting DH and batted fourth against the Arizona Diamondbacks on the 17th.  He went 0-for-3: ground out to second, ground out to short, GIDP.  After the game, Matsui told reporters that he was making solid contact and felt pretty good about his at bats.  Matsui is now 2-for-18 during exhibition play.

Nikkan Sports seems to think the clean-up spot is his, but Sponichi says that says that the remaining 15 or so at bats he has could be big because Kendry Morales is still a possible candidate.

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Kenshin Kawakami did not hold a bullpen session on the 17th.  He instead played catch with Takashi Saito and had him squat down.  Kawakami usually tosses a bullpen session two days before a start, but decided he wanted to carry the feeling he had from his last outing into his next outing.  He also said that he'd be questioned by the coaches if he pulled the same stunt in Japan.

On the 16th, Billy Wagner apparently spotted something in Saito's mechanics when throwing an off-speed pitch.

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Ryota Igarashi and Hisanori Takahashi kept his workouts light on the 17th.  On the team's day off on the 16th, Takahashi went out shopping to take a break away from baseball.  He told reporters that with nothing to lose, he simply plans on giving it his best.

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Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted lead-off against the Texas Rangers on the 17th. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base: walk and stolen base, RBI single, ground out to short, fly out to right.

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It appears as though Tomokazu Ohka will focus his initial efforts on trying to find a new team in the Mexican League.