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Dice-K cruising toward mid-March spring debut

Daisuke Matsuzaka

Boston Red Sox’s Daisuke Matsuzaka tips his cap as he leaves the field after being taken out in seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)


Daisuke Matsuzaka looked strong during a lengthy bullpen session on Sunday afternoon and the Red Sox are beginning to map out a schedule for his spring game debut.

Dan Barbarisi of the Providence Journal believes that debut may come on March 17 against the Mets or March 19 against the Pirates. Either way, it’s good to hear that Matsuzaka will have about three weeks to get geared up for the start of the regular season. The right-hander got off to a team-prescribed slow start this spring, but he launched 65 pitches on Sunday in a bullpen session and got a nice review from pitching coach John Farrell soon after.

“I’m encouraged from the standpoint he threw 65 pitches, and used all of his pitches in the bullpen,” said Farrell. “Right now it’s more of refining the timing in his delivery and establishing a release point on each individual pitch, as opposed from a health standpoint that he’s not feeling anything, which he is not.”

Dice-K is hoping to improve on the 5.76 ERA that he posted in 12 starts last season.