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Sox take Matsuzaka out of rotation

Posted by Ben Collins, Today's Soundtrack  June 20, 2009 04:17 PM

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Daisuke Matsuzaka will miss at least his next start in the rotation, and medical tests including a possible MRI will be performed on the struggling righthander's shoulder, Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said Saturday afternoon.

"We need to get him looked at physically," said Francona. "He's gonna get looked at by (Red Sox physician) Tom Gill. He's going to get tests done. There's a potential for MRIs. All of that information will be coming very soon."

Matsuzaka and his interpreter met with Francona, pitching coach John Farrell and other members of the coaching staff to discuss his recent struggles at 3:30.

Franconca called the conversation "very honest" and said that Matsuzaka attributed at least some of the trouble to pitching in the World Baseball Classic in the offseason.

"Some of it started with the WBC and not having a consistent base," said Francona. "It looks to me like he's struggling to get the velocity he wants (because of that). But it meant a lot to him, and I understand that."

Francona said that he has no specific medical plans yet, or any timetable for Matsuzaka's return to pitching. He met with the media just minutes after the meeting and stressed the importance of patience.

"We don't have to do something just to do something," Francona said. "We wanted to take the time to make sure everyone understood that. Now we're going to go slower and use proper judgment.

"When you take a guy out of the rotation," said Franconca, "you take a guy out of the rotation to fix it."

Francona believes that Matsuzaka is looking for answers just as hard as the coaching staff is.

"I do think he's searching," he said.

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