Sox expect Matsuzaka to miss at least a month

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Sox expect Matsuzaka to miss at least a month

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- The Red Sox officially placed right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and strain to his common flexor mass, and don't expect him back any time soon.

Matsuzaka will be examined againin two weeks, and won't throw at all during that time. If he passes that exam, he would likely need anadditional two weeks before he could return to the mound, meaning four weeks off is probably a best-case scenario.

But the reality is, the Sox are unsure how long Matsuzaka -- 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA this season -- will be out.

Manager Terry Francona said Dice-K won't pitch again until "hes free and easy, where he doesnt have to guard against anything so he can think about pitching and not about his arm . . .

Normally . . . if its two weeks down, three weeks down, four weeks down, thats normally about what it takes to get back to the mound. So you can kind of do the math. If a guys down three or four weeks and it takes three or four weeks to get back to the mound, you're not going to get on a big-league mound real quick.

Im glad we got him looked at, because I dont know if he really wanted to. Im glad we did before this turned into something.

Sprained ulnar collateral ligaments can sometimes lead to Tommy John surgery, which sideline a pitcher from 12-18 months. The Sox, however, hope they've caught the problem early and can avoid surgery.

The results of the MRI seemed to surprise Matsuzaka.

When I hear the result of the MRI, actually the condition was worse than I expected, Matsuzaka said through a team interpreter. About the time frame, I have two weeks off, and I will see how the recovery process goes.

The right-hander, who said he may consider getting a second opinion within the next two weeks, said the pain has made him unable to throw a baseball.

In general, I could stand the pain and still continue to throw before, he said. But at this point I cant really. Its difficult to hold it and throw with this kind of pain. So I usually have a very high tolerance but this time its hard for me to keep throwing.

Matsuzaka last pitched Monday against the Orioles,giving up five runs in 4 13 innings on five hits and seven walks. Healso left his start on April 29 with elbow tightness after pitching toone batter in the fifth inning. Since then, he has thrown 11 13innings over two starts and one relief appearance, allowing 11 runs(all earned) on 13 hits and 10 walks with six strikeouts while his ERAhas climbed from 3.81 to 5.30. It's likely he was dealing with theelbow injury on April 29.

Matsuzaka, who said he is not concerned about surgery, has spent time in each of the last four seasons on the DL. In his five seasons with the Sox, the only year he didnt make a trip to the DL was 2007, his first.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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.