Daisuke Matsuzka attended a tryout with the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Stadium earlier today. He arrived at the facilities at 1:14pm and was seen walking to the indoor facilities at 1:30pm. He tossed a bullpen session (twenty-two playing catch, twelve to a standing catcher, including sliders, curveballs, and change-ups) in front of Chunichi staff. The tryout took place behind closed doors.
Matsuzaka is now set to attend Ichi-gun spring camp with the Dragons. He will be assigned the uniform number 99.
Source: Daliy Sports 1/23/2018, Sports Hochi 1/23/2018, Sports Hochi 1/23/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018, Sponichi 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018, Sanspo 1/23/2018
[UPDATE 1/23 @ 9:36pm]
Matsuzaka also could have selected the uniform number 20, but went with 99 because he felt he did not yet deserve a lower number and felt a connection to 99 because 9 + 9 equaled his old number. His salary will be an estimated fifteen million yen.
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The Chunichi Dragons announced on December 21 that they were going to give thirty-seven-year-old Daisuke Matsuzaka a tryout at Nagoya Stadium in late-January 2018. The Dragons will make a decision before the end of January.
Matsuzaka is currently in the United States at his home in Boston. He is working on strengthening his shoulder and playing catch.
[UDATE 1/18 @ 6:09pm]
The Dragons announced today that Matsuzaka’s tryout will start at 2:00pm on January 23 at Nagoya Stadium. The tryout will be conducted behind closed doors.
[UPDATE 1/21 @2:00pm]
Matsuzaka arrived at Narita Airport on January 20.
The Dragons have received updates on Matsuzaka’s progress. They feel good about his condition and might not want to judge the veteran after just one look.
Shigekazu Mori hinted to reporters on the same day that they might spread Matsuzaka’s tryout over multiple sessions. The sessions might even spill into spring camp.
[UPDATE 1/22 @ 11:31pm]
According to Sponichi, the Dragons are planning to offer Matsuzaka the uniform number 99. As in 9 + 9 = 18, which is what he wore when he played for Seibu, Boston, and Softbank.
Source: Sponichi 1/22/2018
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According to Tokyo Sports, Daisuke Matsuzaka approached the Hanshin Tigers to see if they might be interested in signing him for a low salary, but was turned down. Team official Osamu Tanimoto told reporters the story was over and that he hoped to see Matsuzaka pitch at Koshien Stadium, but with another team.
Matsuzaka may have also approached the Chunichi Dragons, Seibu Lions, and Yokohama Bay Stars.
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 3:41pm]
The Liberty Times is reporting that Matsuzaka’s agent reached out to all four pro teams in Taiwan during the Asia Pro Yakyu Championships in November. One of the four teams did not show any interest. Additional, the Apple Daily is reporting that the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions are interested and open to giving the veteran a tryout. However, Matsuzaka’s first option is remaining in the NPB.
[UPDATE 12/18 @ 4:06pm]
The SET News Channel is apparently reporting that teams in Taiwan will probably find it difficult to pull in enough revenue to justify spending twenty million yen on salary, especially on a pitcher coming off an injury.
Source: Sports Hochi 12/18/2017
[UPDATE 12/19 @ 1:04am]
There is apparently no truth to the reports about Matsuzaka approaching other teams about interest. According to Tokyo Sports, a person close to Matsuzaka said he currently has no agent and has not personally reached out to other teams, especially teams in Taiwan. With regards to the reports about Hanshin, they apparently contacted Matsuzaka to see if he was still able to pitch and he was the one that turned them down.
Source: Tokyo Sports 12/18/2017
The Chunichi Dragons are reportedly interested in Matsuzaka. Health is an issue, as is roster slot availability.
[UPDATE 12/19 @ 3:31pm]
If Matsuzaka is healthy, the Dragons are interested in giving him a chance. They also think he might help improve fan attendance. If they decide to give him a chance, they will most likely start with a tryout during spring camp next year.
The Dragons would be an interesting option for Matsuzaka because of some old Seibu ties, like Manager Shigekazu Mori (former Ni-gun pitching coach), International Relations Yui Tomori (former teammate), and Scout Yoshio Koyama (former Yokohama HS teammate).
[UPDATE 12/21 @ 2:16am]
The Dragons might give Matsuzaka a tryout before the end of the year and could have a decision before the start of spring camp.
Source: Tokyo Sports 12/20/20170 Comments
The Softbank Hawks announced today that Daisuke Matsuzaka will not be returning to the team next year. They also released the following statement from Matsuzaka:
To members of the Softbank Hawks organization and to Hawks fans, I am sorry I could not live up to expectations over the last three years. If I could, I would proudly be with the rest of the players celebrating the team’s victory…
To the staff that help me with my rehab until the very end, to Kimiyasu Kudo for listening to everything I had to say, to the coaches, to my teammates, and to the fans that sent warm cheers, each of your voices provided me with support.
There are not enough words, so I feel the only way to express my gratitude is by pitching off a mound at Ichi-gun. I hope to make it back to the field some day so that I can once again see my fans and teammates.
Source: Softbank 11/5/2017
[UPDATE 11/7 @ 3:05pm]
Tokyo Sports mentions an interesting scenario involving Matsuzaka and former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez playing for the same team. The Kochi Fighting Dogs have no money, but would be more than happy to give Matsuzaka a place to train and play. Ramirez played for Kochi this year and could return next year (the team submitted an offer and is waiting for an answer).
Source: Tokyo Sports 11/7/2017
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Thirty-seven-year-old Daisuke Matsuzaka is in the final year of a three-year contract. According to Nikkan Sports, he is still interested in playing next year. The Softbank Hawks have yet to speak to him about 2018 and beyond, but appear to be open to offering him another contract if he wants to continue playing. They will most likely approach him before the end of the season.
Matsuzaka is currently working his way back from right shoulder problems.
[UPDATE 9/27 @ 3:55pm]
Matsuzaka told reporters on September 26 that he would have given up rehabbing his right shoulder if he had no plans to continue playing next year. He wants at least one more chance to return to the mound.
Matsuzaka has been rehabbing at various facilities in the Kanto region, away from the team’s Chikugo facilities, since mid-August. He returned to the Chikugo facilities on September 26 and was able to play catch at a distance of about forty meters.
The Hawks are planning to sit down with Matsuzaka to discuss his plans and schedule. They are prepared to provide him with whatever support he needs. If the Hawks do sign him to another contract, it will most likely be for a lot less than the estimated 400 million yen he is currently making.
[UPDATE 10/3 @ 10:45pm]
Matsuzaka was able to play catch at a distance of fifty meters today.
Source: Sports Hochi 10/3/2017
[UPDATE 10/15 @ 6:18am]
Matsuzaka tossed a bullpen session on October 14. It was his first session in about half a year. It was not a full session, but more like an extension of playing catch off an incline.
Source: Tokyo Sports 10/14/2017
[UPDATE 10/26 @ 6:01pm]
Matsuzaka tossed a bullpen session on October 26. He threw about fifty pitches to a standing catcher and twenty to a squatting catcher. It was the first time he threw to a squatting catcher since April. He was able to throw the ball at close to full strength.
Fixed an error in translation and added more information on 10/28 @ 3:17am
[UPDATE 11/4 @ 2:12m]
The media learned on November 3 that Matsuzaka will be leaving the Hawks because he wants to continue playing. The Hawks informed the veteran that he was not going to be a part of the team’s plans next year and offered him a job within the organization. Matsuzaka declined their offer and instead opted to leave the team.
Matsuzaka has already cleared out his locker at the Hawks’ farm facilities. He will most likely focus on playing opportunities in Japan.
It should be noted that Tokyo Sports is carrying a slightly different story: the Hawks were willing to sign Matsuzaka to another contract, but he instead asked to be released.
[UPDATE 11/5 @ 12:35am]
According to Tokyo Sports, Matsuzaka might try to find a place to play in the United States (MLB or independent league). He might not find any suitors in Japan, plus his family is living in the US.
Source: Tokyo Sports 11/4/2017
[UPDATE 11/5 @ 11:37am]
The Hawks apparently tried to offer Matsuzaka a similar deal they had with Kazumi Saito — take him off their seventy-man roster with a promise to add him back as soon as he is ready, keep him on the payroll by giving him a job and title (like San-gun rehab coach), and allow him to recover from his injury at his own pace.
A Seibu official told reporters on November 4 they had yet to consider Matsuzaka and that they had no comment at this time.0 Comments
There was talk that Daisuke Matsuzaka might be called up to take Tsuyoshi Wada’s next start on April 15 against Orix at YafuOku Dome. Those tentative plans were tossed out the window when Matsuzaka complained of problems with his right shoulder. Tadashi Settsu will most likely get the start on April 15.
Matsuzaka showed signs of concern while playing catch at the facilities in Chikugo on April 12. He was seen touching the area near his right shoulder while talking to a team trainer. He canceled a batting practice session later in the day.
[UPDATE 4/15 @ 10:25pm]
Matsuzaka rejoined the team today after getting treatment for his right shoulder. He is scheduled to begin workouts at Ni-gun on April 18.
[UPDATE 4/21 @ 6:32pm]
Matsuzaka was originally slated to continue workouts at Ni-gun, but will instead join the rehab group. Pitching coach Shinji Kurano told reporters the decision to move him to the rehab group was not because his condition was worse than originally though, or because he needed more time. When telling reporters of the decision, he added that Matsuzaka was not scheduled to pitch any time soon.
Source: Daily Sports 4/21/2017
[UPDATE 5/21 @ 12:02am]
Matsuzaka played catch at a distance of about forty meters on May 20. He started playing catch again last week.
Source: Nikkan Sports 5/20/20170 Comments
Kimiyasu Kudo and pitching coach Shinji Kurano told reporters today that Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tadashi Settsu will start the year at Ni-gun. The two players will report to Ni-gun facilities in Chikugo on March 26.0 Comments
Daisuke Matsuzaka started an exhibition game against Seibu at MetLife Dome earlier today. He developed tightness in his right thigh (adductor muscle) while pitching in the fourth inning. He left the game with the bases loaded and two out. He was hoping to throw about 100 pitches, but left after throwing seventy-one. He later told reporters he first started feeling discomfort in his right leg in the first inning.
[UPDATE 3/19 @ 10:49pm]
Matsuzaka participated in pre-game practices at Yokohama Stadium today. He did some running and played some catch. He appeared to be okay.
Source: Sponichi 3/19/2017
[UPDATE 3/19 @ 11:48pm]
Matsuzaka is currently slated to remain with the Ichi-gun team.
Source: Tokyo Sports 3/19/2017
[UPDATE 3/22 @ 12:12am]
Matsuzaka could toss a bullpen session on March 22. His workouts on March 21 included playing catch for about third minutes and running dashes in the outfield.
Source: Nikkan Sports 3/21/2017
[UPDATE 3/22 @ 5:44pm]
Matsuzaka threw seventy-five pitches in the bullpen today. He is currently slated to start a game against Hiroshima on March 25. This will most likely be his last chance to win a spot in the opening day starting rotation.
Source: Tokyo Sports 3/22/20170 Comments
The Softbank Hawks scratched Daisuke Matsuzaka from an intra-squad appearance on February 19 because they are concerned about his fatigue levels. He might not pitch in a game until some time after February 22. He is still slated to join Group A camp on February 21.
[UPDATE 2/23 @ 12:09am]
The Hawks decided to delay Matsuzaka’s first outing again after they evaluated his progress on February 22. He has not tossed a bullpen session since he pitched in a batting practice scrimmage on February 14.
Matsuzaka played catch at a distance of about 100 meters on February 22. He is slated to toss a bullpen session on February 23. Depending on how he is feeling, he could make his first appearance during a Ni-gun practice game against Yomiuri on February 25.
[UPDATE 2/24 @ 11:33pm]
Matsuzaka is slated to start and pitch two innings in a Ni-gun practice game against Yomiuri on February 25.
Source: Sponichi 2/24/20170 Comments