BALTIMORE Daisuke Matsuzaka will make at least one more rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket after a healthy outing on Wednesday night.
Matsuzaka gave up five runs on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 5 23 innings while taking a loss against Scranton Wilkes-Barre after his pitch count rose to 97. Matsuzaka has a 4.02 ERA in four rehab starts for the Pawtucket while coming back from a right upper trapezius strain, and is scheduled for another rehab appearance without restrictions on Monday.
Im very encouraged by what I heard. They thought it was his best command and his best stuff during his rehab, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Matsuzaka, who hes been texting back and forth with in his rehab stint. Hes going to make another start. Then well talk about taking it to the next level and seeing what we have.
Valentine said there wont be any limitations on Matsuzaka in his next start, and the Japanese righthander is getting close to a return trip to Boston. Whether that has to wait until Sept. 1 probably depends on what happens with Felix Doubront in his next start in Boston now that hes been skipped one turn in the rotation.
Matsuzaka is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA in his time with Boston this season, and has looked nothing like the confident strikeout artist that the Sox brought over from Japan back in 2007.
Daniel Nava is much better as he comes back from a sore wrist, and he told Valentine that he feels like hes at 60 percent in terms of strength and full health. The Sox skipper indicated Nava would probably need a rehab assignment before returning to the Sox. If so, that might just also put him in the Sept. 1 call-up category once he goes on rehab.
Valentine said that lefty reliever Rich Hill looked good after his second rehab appearance on Wednesday with the Red Sox Rookie Gulf Coast League. Hill struck out two in one inning against the Gulf Coast Orioles.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.