In the offseason, the Cleveland Indians made a handful of small spring training invites to retread pitchers: lefty Scott Kazmir, righty reliever Matt Capps and, most newsworthy, former Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka.
While Kazmir has been mediocre to the tune of a 5.33 ERA in 10 outings as the MLB team’s No. 5 starter, both Capps and Matsuzaka have been on the Triple-A Columbus Clippers disabled list since late April.
Earlier this morning however, the 32-year-old Matsuzaka was activated by the Clippers and will start their game at 12 p.m. Tuesday in Gwinnett, Ga. Matsuzaka returns from being sidelined with a strained oblique. The Clippers announced the move in a single roster change and in their team game notes.
Previously in March, Matsuzaka was released and then re-signed by the Indians in order for the organization to avoid a retention and roster bonus. He was then assigned to the Triple-A roster where he was 0-2 with a 3.92 ERA in his first five starts for the Clippers. He had 24 strikeouts against 18 walks in 20.2 innings pitched, and last appeared on April 28th.
After being notified in mid-March that he would not make Cleveland’s 40-man roster, Matsuzaka — who was 49-30 with a 4.25 ERA in 106 games under Terry Francona in Boston from 2007-2011 — willingly accepted the assignment to Triple-A.
“In speaking with Tito and Chris this morning, they told me they want me on this club and see me in this club,” he said back in March. “They see me as someone who can contribute to this club. Having heard that from them, it definitely made me comfortable about staying here and improving on what I need to improve on so I can make the big league club.”
Capps, a 29-year-old who was once a solid MLB reliever for Pittsburgh and Minnesota, remains on the Columbus disabled list retroactive to April 25th with right shoulder inflammation.
[Related: Hit Or Miss: The Indians and the One-Year Deal]