Valentine: Matsuzaka 'could be very successful'

Valentine: Matsuzaka 'could be very successful'
June 21, 2012, 11:06 pm
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BOSTON -- Before the finale of the three-game series with the Marlins, manager Bobby Valentine was asked what he'd like to see from Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Id like him to participate in a winning performance, Valentine said. That would be a good thing. Hes feeling better. Id like him to get through that first inning clean also. Both of those things would be nice to see.Matsuzaka is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA in two starts this season after starting the season on the disabled list rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in June 2011.Valentine had suggested earlier this week that Matsuzaka might throw more pitches in his pregame bullpen warm-up than he normally does, but that plan might have to be delayed.He has a regimen, as we checked, and its really timed out, and to throw more would mean to plan a little sooner on changing that regimen, Valentine. So I think hell still be at 32, 33 pitches in the pen.But he is open to having the unorthodox pitcher use a customized routine.I think that everybody is an individual and they need to have individual ways of being successful, Valentine said. I was just talking to Jim Kaat who pitched a couple, three decades and he was mentioning how he actually changed his program himself at times. He even threw an inning in the bullpen and sat down before he warmed up again and then went in. So I think its a constant evolution, a constant adjustment that you have to make.Valentine said it is difficult for him to compare what he has seen from Matsuzaka this season and before the right-hander had his surgery.I didnt see him like I see him now, and I think his pitches are good now, Valentine said. If he uses the proper mix of changeup with his cutter, his slider, his curveball, and his fastball, I think he could be very successful.Thursday is Matsuzakas first career appearance against the Marlins.