And despite his off-season vow to atone for an embarrassing showing last year, Dice has pitched poorly this spring, with a 11.42 ERA in three starts (8.2 innings). In his last two starts, Matsuzaka has allowed 12 runs (10 earned) in only 6.2 innings. Pitching coach Curt Young has suggested changing his workout routine to avoid having both his long-toss and bullpen sessions on the same day. Young would rather have Matsuzaka throw long-toss on the second day following a start, then have a bullpen session on the third day.
Terry Francona said the Red Sox are:
trying to get him throwing his side a day later. What Dice has been doing over the course of his career in Japan ... they had the extra day so he had a long toss/side. Here he's been doing it on the same day. That's the way he's always done it. He's adamant he would do it. Curt is trying to get him so he doesn't do it in the same day. Curt said, "Just try it." That's what we're attempting. ... Curt felt two times in one day, you're kind of tearing down your arm. ... [I]t's a lot in one day. So [we're] trying to understand what Daisuke feels he needs and do it a little bit more economical. It makes sense when you think about it. His routine was based on the extra day in Japan.It's disconcerting that (a) Matsuzaka has steadfastly continued his routine from Japan, when he had six days rest between starts, (b) the Red Sox are suggesting this alteration by saying "would you just try it for awhile and see how it goes", and (c) that Matsuzaka isn't more open to outside suggestions to improve his performance.
But for the moment, Dice -- who WEEI's Alex Speier says "is incredibly committed to his process of preparing for starts" -- appears willing to try Young's suggestion. This past Saturday, two days after a bad game against Tampa Bay, Matsuzaka threw only long-toss and had his bullpen session on Sunday.
I'm not real concerned about anyone in camp. We want to leave here healthy and guys feeling good about themselves. I haven't looked at anyone's ERA. I know Daisuke got hit around a little bit the other day. ... We've got to let these guys get ready.Matsuzaka makes his fourth start of the spring this afternoon against the Tigers.