Dice-K Pleads The Fifth

An article by posted on March 14, 2014 0 Comments

daisuke matsuzaka dice-k

Mets manager Terry Collins still isn’t saying anything officially, but it would seem that after yesterday’s performance, Daisuke Matsuzaka may have very well clinched himself the number five spot in the rotation.

Dice-K delivered another solid performance on Thursday giving up one run and three hits over 3.2 innings in the Mets’ 7-5 victory over the Washington Nationals. Manager Terry Collins stopped short of naming Matsuzaka his fifth starter.

“Very, very good performance. His last two innings were outstanding. We got another two weeks to go, he’s got probably another two times out, if not three times out. Each and every time, hopefully he improves.”

Matsuzaka sounded optimistic after the game as well. “I have been preparing, expecting myself to be in that position. I’m pretty satisfied with what I’ve done so far.”

His chief competition has been Jenrry Mejia and John Lannan, both of whom seem destined for other duties, Lannan to the bullpen and Mejia to the Triple-A starting rotation.

There had been some talk of Mejia possibly going to the bullpen, but the front office is very leery of fan perception if they were to make such a move given Mejia’s past history. That would mean a ticket to Las Vegas for the young righthander when the Mets break camp. More on that in another post.

Of all the veterans who have been pushing the Mets youth movement back three spaces this Spring, Dice-K is probably the one move I can live with.

I wanted the Mets to bring him back this Winter to give the team some depth in case of injuries, so I was glad to see him return.

Would I have rather see Mejia or Rafael Montero grab that fifth spot?

Of course, but I can live with Dice-K for a month or so and hope he pitches like he did in his last four starts of the 2013 season.

Matsuzaka got off to a dreadful beginning after signing with the Mets, but after making some adjustments he posted 1.37 ERA to finish the season on an upswing, winning three of his last four starts.

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