Dice-K throws off a mound

According to Kyodo News of Japan, Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 21 pitches off the mound today in Fort Myers.

“Today is like a warm-up,” Matsuzaka said, according to the paper. “I think I’ll throw harder next week.”

He will long toss on Wednesday and return to the bullpen Friday as long as there are no setbacks.

Matsuzaka had Tommy John elbow surgery last June. He is not expected back until sometime around the All-Star break.

For starters, rehab usually consists of gradually building up arm strength followed by a minor league assignment. Along with regaining strength, pitchers also have to develop a feel for their breaking pitches, which put more stress on the elbow.



• Major League Baseball will host a showcase series for unsigned players from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic from Feb. 3-4 in Boca Chica. The top 25 amateurs from each country were invited. They would be eligible to sign on July 2.

David Ortiz will spend an evening with the prospects speaking to them about the transition to becoming a professional.

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