With the injuries starting to pile up, the New York Mets announced on Thursday that they have signed former Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Matsuzaka went 50-37 with a 4.52 ERA in six seasons with the Boston Red Sox, who won a high priced bidding war for his rights from the Seibu Lions in 2006.
Matsuzaka has been saddled with elbow problems since 2009, going 17-22 during that time. After undergoing elbow surgery in 2011 Matsuzaka returned to Boston last season, but struggled to find his form, going 1-7 upon his return.
This season, Matsuzaka followed former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona to Cleveland but lost the final starting job to ex-Met Scott Kazmir and has spent the entire season at Triple A Columbus, where he was 4-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 10 starts.
The Mets plan is to have both Carlos Torres and Matsuzaka see action in Friday’s series opener against the Detroit Tigers.
The Mets have lost two starting pitchers to the disabled list in recent days. Right-hander Jeremy Hefner indicated he is most likely going to need Tommy John surgery, although he will seek a second opinion Monday from Dr. James Andrews; right-hander Jenrry Mejia, who has shown flashes of what made him such a highly regarded prospect just a few years ago, is also due to undergo season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow sometime in the next week.
It will be interesting to see what the Mets can get out of Matsuzaka, who at one time was one of the American League’s most feared pitchers. If Dice-K can show any flashes of his former self this could turn into a great pickup for the Mets, who desperately need innings eaters, as they are not looking to put too much strain on Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.