Originally posted on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 7/3/12

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Matsuzaka left after an inning, tying his shortest outing since joining the Red Sox.

"Leading up to the start, my neck tightened up a little bit and I ended up not being able to throw a bullpen," he said. "I focused on getting myself into condition to be able to pitch tonight. I went out there, but I ended up not being able to get my arm through."

Matsuzaka has battled this same issue twice earlier this season -- once in spring training, and then again in May, when he was nearing the end of his rehabilitation assignment. Both times, he received injections to the area.

Matsuzaka is now winless in five starts since returning from Tommy John surgery

Asked if placing Matsuzaka on the disabled list was a possibility, Valentine said: "Oh, I don't know. With the All-Star break, possibly."

CSNNE | Trapezius muscle pain too much for Matsuzaka to overcome

Surprise, surprise. A Red Sox starter didn't pitch well, and he comes armed with excuses.

OK, the injury is likely legitimate. After all, it's a problem Daisuke has had before. It's just tough to see him fall back to being useless after having a few promising starts.

Will Middlebrooks is also possibly headed to the DL, so you could see some roster moves in the coming days. If Middlebrooks is not headed to the DL, he could still be out a few days, so Clayton Mortensen (who pitched well in relief last night, and who we should also start calling K-ton Mortensen, please) could be headed to Pawtucket for an infielder. 

Meanwhile, it seems likely that they'd shelve Dice and bring up a spot starter/long-relief guy, somebody like Justin Germano, who has done well with the PawSox. 

And if you're worried about burning any options some of these guys, don't be. With all the coming moves with Ellsbury and Crawford and Bailey and so on, there are going to be some guys (like old friend Darnell McDonald) who get DFA'd anyway. Might as well get some use out of them before we send them packing.

On page 2, your Jacoby Ellsbury/Carl Crawford update awaits.

Jacoby Ellsbury played the third game of his rehab stint as he recovers from a right shoulder subluxation. He went 1-for-2 with a two-run home run, two runs scored and a walk for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. He played six innings in center field. 

Ellsbury is slated to play again Tuesday in the GCL as the designated hitter. 

Carl Crawford, who is recovering from left wrist surgery, will continue his rehab Tuesday for Double-A Portland. In five rehab games for the GCL Red Sox, he went 3-for-14 with a double and five walks. 

ESPNBoston | Ellsbury homers in rehab

It's a good sign that Crawford is in Portland. The Sox still don't have a timetable (because they never achieve what they set out for anyway, so why bother?), but it seems conceivable to me that Carl could be back in a week or so. Probably that first game after the All-Star Break -- July 13 at Tampa -- is a good date to circle on your calendar.

And who knows, maybe Jacoby will catch up to his progress and join him.

CSNNE | A's knock around lifeless Matsuzaka, Red Sox lose 6-1 | Mortensen preserves bullpen with five strong innings | Globe | Sox can't dig out of big hole | Team has made it halfway | Middlebrooks sits; DL a possibility | Ask Nick: Will Red Sox trade for an ace? | ESPNBoston | Daisuke Matsuzaka exits early | Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss power A's past Sox | Will Middlebrooks could head to DL | Daniel Bard: Something clicked | Mortensen goes five to save bullpen | Herald | Daisuke Matsuzaka bombs in loss to A's | Red Sox in great shape with help on the way | Josh Reddick rolling | Will Middlebrooks sits out | Ryan Sweeney on road to recovery

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