Bobby Valentine said prior to Sunday's game that he didn't like what he saw in Daisuke Matsuzaka's latest rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket. Matsuzaka, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, threw 90 pitches over 5 1/3 innings and allowed five runs and seven hits against Columbus Saturday at McCoy Stadium.
"I watched the game. I didn't think he was as good as he should be," Valentine said. "His mechanics [weren't] very good at all, I think. But he's throwing pain-free, so that's good."
Valentine said that Matsuzaka will have two more rehab starts (May 17 and 22) "to get his whole thing together." The manager added that he and his staff will review Saturday's outing in further detail Sunday.
"I've been watching him," he said. "Right now he's worried about his strength and his ability to endure pitches and things like that."
Valentine had six-man rotations when managing in Japan and with the Mets. He touched on the possibility of going with a six-man rotation this season, noting that while possible, his inclination is to stick with the traditional five-man rotation for the long term.
"It depends on who the six are, obviously," he said. "I guess it can work, but I don't have any plans for that right now as a long-term situation. I could see it being done a couple of times through out of necessity."
Added Valentine: "Breaking routine is difficult for most. With six days, you usually have to throw twice in between. The days that they lift their weights changes to the day that they're in the training room. We're all creatures of habit. Obviously the rain sometimes and doubleheaders, things like that get guys out of their routine and they have to be able to adjust properly when you ask them to adjust, but to do it full time I think is a lot to ask. But, again, if everyone's flexible enough, you never know. It's all about individuals."
On the status of Kevin Youkilis, who is on the disabled list with a strained back muscle, Valentine said the injured infielder was set to throw, take grounders and take batting practice Sunday prior to the game. First baseman Mauro Gomez was in the clubhouse Sunday in case the team needed to make a roster move, with Valentine noting the move would not be related to David Ortiz.
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