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Padres Injured Reliever Should Be Ready to Play in Korea

This is a great sign for San Diego.
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The San Diego Padres open their season in five days in Korea against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And fortunately, it appears their high-priced offseason addition should be able to play in one of the two games.

Yuki Matsui, who the Padres signed to a five-year, $28 million deal this offseason, appeared in just two games this Cactus League as he dealt with back tightness.

He appeared in the Padres' first game of the Cactus League against the Dodgers — striking out the side — and the last game against the Athletics, where he struck out two and allowed one hit in a scoreless inning.

After the game, he provided an update on his health as the team got ready to leave for Korea.

“I think I’m ready to pitch in Korea," Matsui said. "Really appreciate all the coaches and the supporting staff that helped me through the rehab process."

Via San Diego Union-Tribune

This is great news for San Diego, especially after they traded one of their best relievers, Steven Wilson, to the Chicago White Sox in the Dylan Cease trade.

Matsui is expected to be a key piece in the Padres bullpen this year, and it's nice to know he should be able to start the season on time.

Here's what manager Mike Shildt had to say about Matsui after the game.

“I thought he looked good,” Shildt said. “Good for him, good for us. Ball came out good. … Thought it was a good indicator of him being able to move forward.”

Via San Diego Union-Tribune

The Padres play two exhibition games on March 17 and 18 before their two games against the Dodgers on March 20 and 21.