Matsuzaka ‘shocked’ by minor league demotion


The New York Mets on Saturday reassigned Daisuke Matsuzaka to Triple-A Las Vegas, a move that shocked the veteran right-hander.

The 33-year-old Matsuzaka will start the season in the minors despite his 3.04 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 23⅔ spring innings.

He had eight strikeouts over five shutout innings Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays, but has lost out on a place on the rotation to 24-year-old Jenrry Mejia.

“I am shocked and find this difficult to take, but there is no point dwelling on it,” said Matsuzaka. “Sure I will feel disappointed today, but the season is going to start and I just want to reset my switch.

Mets Terry Collins said he could understand Matsuzaka’s disappointment.

“He shouldn’t be happy,” Collins said. “He’d better not be. I’m sure he feels it was the wrong decision, and I certainly understand it because of the way he threw the baseball. But as I told him, we don’t know what’s going to happen the next few days. He’d better stay ready, and I know he will.”

Darvish to start on DL


Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, who has been suffering with neck stiffness, will start the season on the 15-day disabled list, the club said on Saturday.

The 27-year-old will be put on the DL retroactive to March 21 and is eligible to come off it on April 5.

No time frame was put on his return to the mound, with Rangers manager Ron Washington saying coaches would take a good look at the former Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters ace’s condition on Sunday.

The club said Darvish resumed throwing on Saturday.

Iwakuma on injured list


All-Star right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, the Seattle Mariners said Saturday.

The move is retroactive to March 21, meaning the 32-year-old can come off the DL on April 5.