Daisuke Matsuzaka had a strong outing for Pawtucket today against Rochester:
2 hit batters
73 pitches / 43 strikes.
Counting exhibition games, minor-league games and today's rehab start, Matsuzaka has thrown 15 innings. Based on what the Sox did with their other starters, he needs 10 more — or two starts.
So he should be ready for the majors somewhere around April 25 or 26.
Alan Embree followed Matsuzaka to the mound and threw a scoreless inning, striking out two and allowing a hit. Embree can opt out of his deal on April 15 if he is not in the majors, so the Sox can get a look at him at least two more times.
Embree clearly plans to exercise that option if the Sox do not call him up. Here is what he told PawSox broadcaster Dan Hoard:
"Hopefully, if things go well and I get enough appearances, that on the 15th that won't be the issue. The issue will be that I'm going to Boston, which is ultimately what the goal was. But, that being said, baseball is a business and if for whatever reason they didn't feel I was fit, I have to move on from there. It's one of those things I'll evaluate on that day."
Asked whether he would extend the deadline, Embree said, "I'd have to explore the other options before I would consider that. That being said, I'm very grateful the Red Sox gave me the opportunity that they did. ... But usually around the 10th appearance, I'm usually ready. That's kind of what I'm gauging it on and the next few outings will tell."