Friday, July 24, 2009

Dice-K to start working with shorter timetables

Daisuke Matsuzaka was in Boston on Friday to throw in the outfield and to meet with Red Sox management, but he was scheduled to fly back to Florida on Friday night to resume his rehab program. Red Sox manager Terry Francona sat down with Matsuzaka for a 90-minute conversation this afternoon -- the length in part because every sentence had to be translated -- to discuss his progress and the plan for the immediate future.

There is no timetable set for Matsuzaka's return. Instead, rather than set some long-term goals -- such as pitching off a mound by Aug. 15 and pitching in rehab games by Sept. 1, for example -- the pitcher will work with short-term goals and evaluate his progress on a more regular basis.

"That's maybe where we've erred in the past," Francona said, likely referring to Matsuzaka's first DL stint this season. "We're going to keep it in short segments, weekly goals, and keep arriving at those goals and communicate and either continue or change or back off where needed. ...

"Rather than point to things like (a bullpen session), we're going to continue the progression and try not to do it backwards and keep the goals a little bit shorter."

But will he pitch again this year?

"I hope so," Francona said. "I certainly hope so."

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