Matsuzaka, Daisuke 松坂 大輔 (まつざか・だいすけ)
Softbank Hawks | #18 | P
Born: 09/12/1980 (age 41)
Height: 183cm
Weight: 93kg
Bats: R
Throws: R
Blood Type: O
Hometown: Tokyo
Draft: 1998, 1st Round
History: 横浜高(甲)-西武-レッドソックス-メッツ
Roster Changes: added 10/01/2016, removed 10/02/2016

[2/13/2019] Daisuke Matsuzaka diagnosed with shoulder inflammation

Daisuke Matsuzaka developed discomfort in his right shoulder after a fan yanked his arm during an informal high-five session a few days ago. The Chunichi Dragons announced on February 11th that they decided to shut down Matsuzaka’s throwing arm to avoid further complications. The veteran was examined at a hospital in Okinawa on February 12 and diagnosed with inflammation in his right shoulder. He could end up traveling to Nagoya or the Kanto area for additional tests.

Source: Sanspo 2/13/2019, Sponichi 2/13/2019, Sponichi 2/12/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/12/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/12/2019, Daily Sports 2/12/2019, Daily Sports 2/12/2019, Sports Hochi 2/12/2019, Tokyo Sports 2/12/2019, Tokyo Sports 2/12/2019

[UPDATE 2/15 @ 12:59am]

Matsuzaka left Okinawa on February 14. The Dragons announced that he will get additional tests and treatment for his shoulder on February 15. He is slated to provide Chunichi officials with a report on his status on February 16. Daily Sports is also reporting that Matszuaka’s throwing arm might be shut down for at least two weeks.

Source: Nikkan Sports 2/14/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/14/2019, Sponichi 2/14/2019, Sponichi 2/14/2019, Sponichi 2/14/2019, Sports Hochi 2/14/2019, Sports Hochi 2/14/2019, Daily Sports 2/14/2019, Daily Sports 2/14/2019, Daily Sports 2/14/2019, Daily Sports 2/14/2019, Sanspo 2/14/2019

[UPDATE 2/17 @ 11:34am]

Matsuzaka is not expected to rejoin the team in Okinawa this month. He will instead spend most of his time in Nagoya for rehab and treatment. Assuming no issues, he might be able to resume throwing some time in early March and be ready to join the Ichi-gun team in May.

Source: Sanspo 2/16/2019, Nikkan Sports 2/16/2019, Sponichi 2/16/2019, Sports Hochi 2/16/2019, Daily Sports 2/16/2019

[UPDATE 2/19 @ 10:07pm]

The Dragons announced today that Matsuzaka’s right arm will be shut down for at least two more weeks after team doctors in Nagoya re-evaluated his condition.

Source: Sponichi 2/19/2019, Sanspo 2/19/2019, Sports Hochi 2/19/2019, Daily Sports 2/19/2019


[12/6/2018] Chunichi Dragons uniform number changes

The Chunichi Dragons announced the following uniform numbers changes:

Source: Chunichi 12/6/2018


[6/17/2018] Daisuke Matsuzaka scratched from start against Seibu

Daisuke Matsuzaka was a late scratch from his start against the Seibu Lions at MetLife Dome on June 17. Matsuzaka developed cramps in his back during pre-game practice. He remained at the stadium for treatment and left on a taxi during the fifth inning. He is considered day-to-day.

Source: Tokyo Sports 6/17/2018, Tokyo Sports 6/17/2018, Sponichi 6/17/2018, Sponichi 6/17/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/17/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/17/2018, Daily Sports 6/17/2018

[UPDATE 6/19 @ 12:42am]

Matsuzaka was examined at a hospital in Yokohama on June 18 and diagnosed with a mild sprain in his back. He was taken off the active roster on the same day.

Source: Zak Zak 6/18/2018, Sponichi 6/18/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/18/2018


[5/13/2018] Daisuke Matsuzaka leaves start with calf tightness

Daisuke Matsuzaka started a game against the Yomiuri Giants at Tokyo Dome on May 13 and left in the middle of the third inning because of tightness in his right calf.

Matsuzaka faced thirteen batters and gave up four runs on four hits and two walks. He threw forty-one pitches before he left the game.

Source: Daily Sports 5/13/2018, Sports Hochi 5/13/2018, Sponichi 5/13/2018, Sponichi 5/13/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/13/2018, Tokyo Sports 5/13/2018


[4/30/2018] Daisuke Matsuzaka notches first NPB since 2006

Daisuke Matsuzaka got the win in his start against the Yokohama Bay Stars earlier today in front of 36,606 at Nagoya Dome. It was his first NPB win since September 19, 2006.

Matsuzaka held the Bay Stars to a run despite allowing at least one runner to reach base in every inning he pitched through three hits, seven walks, and one hit batsmen. He also struck out six, topped out at 147km/h, and threw 114 pitches over six innings of work.

Source: Sponichi 4/30/2018, Tokyo Sports 4/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/30/2018, Daily Sports 4/30/2018


[1/23/2018] Matsuzaka heading to spring camp with Chunichi Dragons

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.

Source: Tokyo Sports 1/23/2018, Tokyo Sports 1/23/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/28/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/23/2018

See also:


[12/21/2017] Chunichi Dragons to give Daisuke Matsuzaka a tryout in January

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.

Source: Daily Sports 12/21/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/21/2017, Sponichi 12/21/2017, Sports Hochi 12/21/2017, Tokyo Sports 12/21/2017

[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.

Source: Sponichi 1/18/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/18/2018, Sports Hochi 1/18/2018

[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.

Source: Daily Sports 1/21/2018, Nikkan Sports 1/21/2018, Sanspo 1/21/2018

[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

See also:


[12/16/2017] Chunichi Dragons interested Daisuke Matsuzaka

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.

Source: Tokyo Sports 12/16/2017, Tokyo Sports 12/16/2017, Sports Hochi 12/16/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/16/2017

[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.

Source: ZakZak 12/18/2017, Sports Hochi 12/18/2017, Sports Hochi 12/18/2017

[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.

Source: Daily Sports 12/18/2017, Sports Hochi 12/18/2017, Sponichi 12/18/2017, Nikkan Sports 12/18/2017

[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).

Source: Sanspo 12/19/2017, Sports Hochi 12/19/2017, Daily Sports 12/19/2017

[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 12/20/2017


[11/5/2017] Softbank Hawks, Daisuke Matsuzaka to part ways

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

See also:


[9/17/2017] Softbank open to offering Matsuzaka a new contract

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.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/17/2017, Sponichi 9/17/2017, Sports Hochi 9/17/2017

[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.

Source: Sports Hochi 9/27/2017, Sports Hochi 9/27/2017, Daily Sports 9/27/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017, Nikkan Sports 9/27/2017

[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

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/26/2017, Sponichi 10/26/2017Nikkan Sports 10/27/2017

[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.

Source: Nikkan Sports 11/4/2017, Sponichi 11/4/2017, Daily Sports 11/4/2017, Sports Hochi 11/4/2017, Tokyo Sports 11/4/2017

[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.

Source: Sports Hochi 11/5/2017, Sports Hochi 11/5/2017