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Red Sox may dump Dice-K from rotation

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  September 9, 2012 11:44 AM

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At long last, are the Red Sox ready to pull the plug on Daisuke Matsuzaka?

Matsuzaka couldn't get out of the second inning on Saturday night against Toronto and may not make his next start. The Red Sox are considering replacing him in the rotation with Alfredo Aceves.

"I'm not sure," manager Bobby Valentine said. "Going to see. Have some meetings here with him, too. He was very disappointed yesterday. So was I."

Matsuzaka has been unable to get through the fourth inning in three of his last four starts. He has allowed 16 earned runs on 21 hits (five home runs) and nine walks over his last 13 innings. Matsuzaka is 1-5 with a 7.20 earned run average on the season.

Matsuzaka is 17-20 with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP over the last four seasons. That has cost the Sox $70 million, counting the percentage of the $51 million posting fee they paid the Seibu Lions simply to negotiate with him.

Also:

• Whatever flickering hope existed that David Ortiz (right Achilles tendon) would play again this season has pretty much been extinguished.

"I would assume that,” said Valentine, noting that Ortiz was back in a walking boot to take weight of his foot. “Unless David decides he’s totally pain free [he’s not going to play]. As of our last conversation, he says he feels much better and the shot seems to have really worked. But I think it takes a couple of weeks for that to totally set in.”

Ortiz has a PRP shot in his foot last month.

"We’ll see. We’ll see what the doctors say and how I’m feeling. Right now, I’m just focused on doing the right thing," Ortiz said. "The doctors are looking forward to make sure that I don’t have to worry about this anymore. I think that’s the goal right now and we don’t see the point of coming back and not being ready yet

"This whole PRP thing is a whole process. It’s not just doing it and waiting a couple of weeks and go out afterwards. After that, it’s about how it’s healing and what the next step is going to be like and just making sure everything’s in the right way."

Does Ortiz think he will be shut down?

"I think it all depends on the doctors, what they think will be the right thing to do. Like I told them, I just don’t want to have any more setbacks. I want to make sure that I resolve this problem. Last time, I had that setback," he said.

"I basically [asked] them, `Do I need surgery for this?’ They went like, `No, you don’t need surgery.' So I was like, `OK, let’s fix this,’ and that way I don’t have to worry about it anymore. That’s what they’re doing right now. I’m pretty sure that our doctors are going to do whatever it takes to get me to where I was."

• Felix Doubront is scheduled to start against the Yankees on Thursday. The Sox want to see how he looks when he throws in the bullpen on Monday.

"He feels really good. He says he feels healthy," Valentine said. "If Felix is healthy, he’ll go back out there."

• Franklin Morales will get a exam on his sore left shoulder. It looks like he's done for the season, too. "He’s a little hesitant right now because he doesn’t feel 100 percent strength wise," Valentine said. "So he’s on a real holding pattern."

• Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting sixth for the first time since 2009. He is hitting .257/.300/.353 on the season and is 5 of his last 36 with no extra-base hits, no RBIs and one walk.

• Jarrod Saltalamacchia (back spasms) is getting another day off. The hope is with the team's day off on Monday, he'll be ready to go on Tuesday.

• Daniel Nava was activated off the DL. He has a ganglion cyst in his left wrist that might require surgery in the offseason. But for now, he can play.

• Scott Atchison (right elbow) has rejoined the team but isn't eligible to come off the 60-day DL until Wednesday.

• Will Middlebrooks turned 24 today.

• Omar Vizquel, who could be headed for the Hall of Fame, may be playing his last game at Fenway Park today. The 45-year-old shortstop spent 24 seasons in the majors and hit .272 with 11 Gold Gloves.

He is playing second base for the Jays.

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