Pitching coach John Farrell, who was interviewed on Monday morning on the Dale & Holley Show, analyzed the physical, mechanical and mental issues that have led to pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka's poor performance this year, and that forced his placement this weekend on the disabled list. While Farrell did outline the program that Matsuzaka will follow for building his arm strength, he suggested that there was no set timetable for the pitcher's return to the major leagues.
"Our every intention will be to get him back this year," Farrell said during the interview. "Now I say that with no end time frame that says on August 1, he’s going to be back in our rotation. There’s going to be objectives that he’s going to have to meet along the way here both in terms of strength and conditioning, both from a body standpoint and from a shoulder standpoint and then you can’t short circuit the throwing program that we outlined at the outset that he is going to have to go through to not only he feels confident but we feel confident that he’s going to go back out on the mound and have the type of performance that he’s proven to us over the last two years.
"I wouldn’t say there is going to be a full three months of a full off season and then a gradual build-up. He’s working from a better foundation now than if you were talking about January or February, that’s obvious with the amount of innings he’s thrown already. It’s clear there are needs that do exist. By his own admission he knows there’s the need to take a step back before taking steps forward and that’s what we’re in the process of constructing an overall plan physically and fundamentally to get him back to that level."
Farrell clarified that Matsuzaka is not facing an acute injury so much as he is simply still trying to rebuild strength in his right shoulder after having been unable to do so prior to the World Baseball Classic.
"I think it’s important to clarify, there are reports out there that Daisuke is suffering from a sore shoulder; that is not true. That is far from the truth," Farrell said. "He does have some deficiencies in strength that goes back to the preparation for a full season that in this case has not been afforded and when you ramp up too quick you fatigue it and then trying to come back you’re working it to get back in shape and there’s just not ample time or format to do that. Fortunately with (John) Smoltz coming to us (from the disabled list on Thursday) we have that time on our side and we’re going to take the time needed to get Daisuke right to the pitcher he was the past two years."
To listen to the complete interview, click here.
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