Can Daisuke Matsuzaka cut it in the bullpen?

Dice KAs the New York Mets came back to Queens to start their 10-game homestand last night, the team brought up Daisuke Matsuzaka on Friday while reassigning John Lannan.

With the Mets having five healthy starters (save for Jenrry Mejia’s blister issues and Bartolo Colon’s back problems), the only chance where Matsuzaka can make his mark with the club is in the bullpen. It’s not a place Matsuzaka is used to, as he only made one relief appearance in his career.

So how will Matsuzaka adapt to this new role?

Well, considering this is his only chance to pitch in the big leagues at the moment, Matsuzaka has to embrace this role. Maybe it could lead to bigger and better things.

As you might expect, Matsuzaka was pitching well in Las Vegas after he had himself a solid spring. In two starts with the 51s, Matsuzaka has pitched 12 innings while giving up three runs on seven hits. Unfortunately, he has issued six walks but has also struck out 12 batters in the process.

By most accounts, Matsuzaka should not be pitching in the minors. He’s no spring chicken and he’s past his prior health issues. He’s been a force in the majors before and can be one yet again. So, the Mets wanted to bring him up and make him earn his pay while reinventing himself in the bullpen. There really is no use for him in Las Vegas.

This is certainly new ground for Matsuzaka and here’s to hoping he seizes his new opportunity. With the Mets getting inconsistent play from their bullpen, the hope here is that Matsuzaka can at least stabilize the pen with his experience and veteran moxy. This way you might as well use an asset the best way you can.

Plus, with the addition of Matsuzaka, he will be there in the case the Mets need a fill-in pitcher in the coming weeks-which is bound to happen.

So, while this is foreign territory for Matsuzaka, he has to be a good solider and make the most of this opportunity. If he excels, it will only bolster the Mets shaky bullpen.

Who knows what happens after that, as things like having too much pitching tend to work out in the end.

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6 comments for “Can Daisuke Matsuzaka cut it in the bullpen?

  1. April 19, 2014 at 9:44 am

    if the D-backs were smart they would trade one of their shortstops for DiceK. They need pitching as bad as bad as the Mets need a shortstop.

  2. April 19, 2014 at 9:55 am

    I was no fan of Lannan in the bullpen and I feel pretty much the same way about Matsuzaka. I think he still has something to offer as a SP. Maybe he’s part of a trade, like Wilponzi mentioned above, or a replacement for another pitcher being dealt.

    Wouldn’t it be wild if we ranted and raved about Alderson not making any moves and then he makes two trades during April?

    • Jerry Grote
      April 19, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Bring me the head of Stephen Drew.

      You’ve cut the payroll (Davis). Trading now for a SS would irritate the ever living crap out of me.

  3. Metsense
    April 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Carlos Torres is becoming a stable influence in the bullpen so changing him over to the 7th and 8th set up roll seems like a natural progression. That leaves the long man roll to Dice K which might be easier to acclimate to. Better Dice K than Lannan. Dice K can also spot start if Colon or Mejia have issues. This bullpen is a mess. Even with Germen’s implosion last night (it really didn’t cost the Mets a loss), I would run him out again ASAP as the 7th/8th setup man. Farnsworth can close this week, Valverde can try to get his act together in mop up relief. They need to try these young arms out in high leverage situations or they won’t know what they got. Best to start the trial with Germen.

  4. SL
    April 20, 2014 at 7:48 am

    There’s an obvious bullpen move to be made, which means, of course, the Mets won’t do it. Gee, who is fantastic the first time through a lineup and gets worse with each pass (significantly) should be moved to the pen NOW, which is where he will end up with Thor and Montero or DeGrom promoted later this summer.
    He’s a strike thrower and doesn’t walk people which is what is needed in relief.

    And for now, you can put Dice K in the rotation to take Gee’s spot for the next 2 months.

  5. Patrick Albanesius
    April 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Not a terrible idea SL, but it won’t be done simply because Gee was the opening day starter. I’m sure it’s possible, but I cannot recall an opening day starter moved to the bullpen in April of the same year. Besides, Gee is given quality outings, where as Dice K is still a question mark as to what he can bring every fifth day.

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