GOODYEAR, AZ - One advantage Arizona has over Florida for Spring Training is that the weather is better. You almost never get rain outs. Today was the exception to that rule, it rained. Indians hitters and pitchers were forced to take batting practice and throw bullpens inside. The team could not get any of their work in the field accomplished. Teams account for these kinds of things and are good at adjusting so if anything, it was only an inconvenience.
Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a bullpen today. He had quite an audience. Roughly 20 journalists from Japan were here to monitor his every move. They were in position to cover his warm up tosses in the outfield of one soggy practice field. As he made his way to indoor pitching mounds to throw his bullpen the media troupe stampeded the 30 yards to the building to try and find a spot where they could film through the chain link fencing. It was quite a site, but it's actually pretty standard for Japanese players in MLB. They have their own press corps. It can make for crowded quarters in the press room when a Japanese player is in the news that day.
Manager Terry Francona has announced that LHP Giovanni Soto will start Friday against the Reds. It will help him prepare for the World Baseball Classic, he's pitching for Puerto Rico. The club had originally wanted Scott Kazmir to start in that game, but pitching coach Mickey Callaway decided he needed another bullpen session before he was ready.