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
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
Daisuke Matsuzaka had a meeting with Kimiyasu Kudo at YafuOku Dome on September 30. He is now set to join the Ichi-gun team for workouts on October 1 and could pitch an inning or two in relief during the Rakuten game on October 2.0 Comments
Daisuke Matsuzaka might miss the chance to pitch at Ichi-gun this year.
The Ni-gun Softbank Hawks have five more games left on their schedule after today: two games against Chunichi over the weekend (September 17 and 18) and a three-game series against Hanshin (September 23-25) next week.
Matsuzaka was scheduled to pitch in a Ni-gun game against Chunichi on September 17, but only if there were no issues after a bullpen session on September 15. He missed the session on the 15th, so his next appearance will be pushed back at least a day, assuming he was able to toss a session today.
If Matsuzaka misses the two Ni-gun Chunichi games over the weekend, he will not get another chance to pitch until next week. That may not give him enough time to make it back to the active roster before the end of the season.
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/16/2016
[UPDATE 9/18 @ 1:35am]
Matsuzaka played catch with a catcher’s mitt on September 16. He also threw twenty-nine pitches to a squatting catcher in the bullpen (with the catcher’s mitt).
Source: Nikkan Sports 9/17/20160 Comments
Daisuke Matsuzaka started a Ni-gun game against Orix at Tama Home Stadium Chikugo on September 10. He was supposed to pitch five inning and throw about eighty pitches, but instead left after three shutout innings and fifty-eight pitches. He struggled with his control and walked/hit seven. He topped out at 143km/h.
Matsuzaka may have tweaked his right leg because he seemed bothered by it in the third innin/g.
[UPDATE 9/11 @ 12:56am]
Matsuzaka left the game with tightness in his right buttock. He was bothered by the tightness before the start of the game. He may not have to miss his next start, if the tightness goes away within a day or two.
Source: Tokyo Sports 9/10/2016
[UPDATE 9/11 @ 4:12pm]
According to Sponichi, Matsuzaka may have hurt (or aggravated) his right buttock when he went to cover first base in the third inning.
Source: Sponichi 9/11/2016
[UPDATE 9/11 @ 8:50pm]
Matsuzaka worked out at the Ni-gun facilities in Chikugo today. He played catch for about ten minutes to check on his right leg. A trainer told reporters that their was still some tightness in the buttock. Whether he makes his next outing on September 17 (Ni-gun Chunichi at Nagoya Stadium) will depend on how he is feeling over the next couple of days.
Source: Daily Sports 9/11/20160 Comments
Rick van den Hurk and Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched in a Ni-gun game against Yomiuri at Beppu Municipal Baseball Stadium on September 3.
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched in a San-gun game against the Kagawa Olive Guyners at Tama Home Stadium Chikugo earlier today. He started the game and tossed three shutout innings. He threw forty-one pitches, allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out four. He also topped out at 147km/h.
Source: Nikkan Sports 8/28/20160 Comments
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched in a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima at Tama Home Stadium Chikugo on August 25. It was his first game since May 14.
Matsuzaka entered the game in the sixth inning and retired the side in order (Shohei Habu F8, Tatsuki Kuwahara G5, Yuta Shirahama F8). He threw eleven pitches and topped out at 144km/h. After his outing, he headed to the bullpen and threw about twenty extra pitches (all fastballs).0 Comments
Daisuke Matsuzaka could pitch an inning during a Ni-gun game against Hiroshima at Tama Home Stadium Chikugo on August 25. A final decision will be made on August 24.
Source: Nikkan Sports 8/23/20160 Comments