There was an interesting interview this week on ESPN’s “Cold Pizza” with former Mets manager and current manager of the Japan League’s Chiba-Lotte Marines Bobby Valentine, who gave his scouting report on Daisuke Matsuzaka, having managed against him for three years:

“If he were at a tryout camp, you know he would stand out among all the rest for his ability to propell the ball forward. He has a good fastball, between 90 and 95 miles per hour, but above that he has about six different breaking pitches – everything from changeup, split, slider curve, and shuuto that he can throw for a strike just about anytime in the count.

So he has that stuff they call “command,” and he has that stuff they call “stuff.”

Asked what he thought Matsuzaka’s weakness is, Valentine replied,

“I never found a weakness, playing against him for three years. He’s a good fielder, he holds runners. If anything his weakness is that he’s overconfident at times.”

Finally, Valentine was asked which major league player Matsuzaka most reminds him of, to which he replied,

“There’s no one that he really reminds me of. He’s a combination of a lot of guys. He’s like a combination of the stuff of a Mike Mussina, if you will, and the command of a Maddux, if you will, but he has many more pitches than either of them.

His stuff isn’t electric.  A lot of people probably think he’s going to come out throwing like Pedro, or come out like Schilling, or come out like Clemens, and make it look like that, but he’s a smaller guy – he’s more like Pedro’s size – and his stuff is more precise than dramatic.”

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