The Boston Red Sox have had numerous issues to begin the 2012 season, one of them being starting pitching, although they righted their ship somewhat with a recent six-game winning streak during which they allowed 19 total runs.
But every team can use more pitching, which is why it has to be encouraging to Boston management that Daisuke Matsuzaka had a solid rehab start for Double-A Portland on Saturday:
In his second rehab start since coming back from Tommy John surgery on his elbow, Matsuzaka was in command throughout, challenging hitters with a fastball that touched 93 mph and an assortment of off-speed stuff that baffled the.
He threw 74 pitches, 44 for strikes, and went to a three-ball count on only three of the 17 batters he faced. Matsuzaka, who has frustrated Boston fans with a couple of uneven seasons, allowed only three hits, walked two and struck out seven.
According to this Boston Globe article, Dice-K will make his third rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket; he's expected to make five rehab starts in all, which would mean it could be mid- to late-May before he's back pitching in Boston.