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Junichi Tazawa


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#51 SoxScout


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Posted 08 April 2009 - 04:33 PM

Tazawa is the SeaDogs opening day starter tomorrow.

#52 GoWhalers

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 09:23 AM

via extra bases:

Connecticut 3, PORTLAND 0
Junichi Tazawa strikes out seven in a five-inning start, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. The Sea Dogs muster four hits, including singles by first baseman Lars Anderson and catcher Mark Wagner.



#53 champain2002

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 10:13 AM

A winner in a loss

Run was in the fourth inning after a leadoff walk and groundout, when he hung a curveball to Connecticut first baseman Brett Pill who laced an rbi double down the left field line.


Tazawa gave up a leadoff triple to Mike Mooney in the fifth. Tazawa then bore down, striking out the next two batters, then breaking Brad Boyer's bat on a foul pop-up to third baseman Jorge Jimenez.

"Leaving that runner on third base showed what he's all about," Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler said.


He threw 66 pitches, 44 for strikes. Yep, 4.4 balls per inning.

#54 ItOnceWasMyLife

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:21 PM

He threw 66 pitches, 44 for strikes. Yep, 4.4 balls per inning.


At this rate, he's not the next Matsuzaka, he's the next Schilling!

#55 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 10 April 2009 - 02:39 PM

At this rate, he's not the next Matsuzaka, he's the next Schilling!

At this rate, Schilling will envy his ability to stay in the strike zone. I'll be happy if he's the next Lieber, Tewksbury, or Silva (pre-Mariners), never mind Saberhagen, Maddux, or Schilling.

We also have to see how he does in real games against major leaguers. Because if you stay in the zone that much, you better be damn sure that they aren't going to tattoo your pitches.

Edited by CaptainLaddie, 10 April 2009 - 02:41 PM.


#56 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:31 PM

I'd also like to get a good look at him if he ends up pitching against the Rock Cats to see if he's doing more than just staying in the zone. It's one thing to throw strikes with good stuff. It's another to do it while hitting your spots. You can be wild in the zone and tough to hit... but if you can stay in the zone like he does with the amount of success he's had in his tiny sample size and be hitting the mitt every time... that's a different matter all together.

#57 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:33 PM

We also have to see how he does in real games against major leaguers. Because if you stay in the zone that much, you better be damn sure that they aren't going to tattoo your pitches.


Its a strange thing to say, but Tazawa may in fact be the rare pitcher who really needs to learn how to throw balls a bit better and more regularly. I don't know what the optimal number of balls for any pitcher to throw might be, but I'm damn sure that it is higher than one per inning.

#58 SoxScout


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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:50 PM

67% strikes is nice, but it's not like it is some incredible achievement. Cliff Lee and Scott Baker threw 69% all last season. Ricky Nolasco and Roy Oswalt were at 68%. Andy Sonnanstine, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay were all at 67%.

With Bowden and Tazawa, even if they don't have the highest ceilings in the world like Hamels and Nolasco, they will be very nice pitchers if they just pump strikes. I'll take as many Baker/Sonnanstine-types our system wants to produce. Sure there will be solo home runs allowed, but the big inning will usually be avoided.

Of course most of these pitchers are flyball guys, if you are pumping strikes with a nice GB/FB ratio you are something special (Halladay).

2008:
Beckett 66%
Lester 64%
Matsuzaka 61%

Edited by SoxScout, 10 April 2009 - 03:55 PM.


#59 champain2002

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 04:23 PM

I also liked that he did all this with just two pitches, curve and fb. He stayed away from the splitter. On top of that, if he hadn't hung that curve, or thrown his fastball instead (the batter was thinking curve), he might have been pitching a 3 hit shut out into the 6th. Or, of course, maybe not. He appears to be an intense competitor and not bothered much by in game adversity, or ability to grip the ball. The rest will come with time. Must be a good curve if he relied on it so much according to the Defenders and he still only gave up four hits.

Edited by champain2002, 10 April 2009 - 05:33 PM.


#60 dolfanmark

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 05:29 PM

I was able to attend the game last night. Tazawa was quite impressive in person. His breaking stuff was really fooling the hitters, as they kept taking called strikes. He was especially good with a curve that was around 68 mph. To me, it looked like he was throwing 2 different fastballs. He had a 4-seamer that was consistently 91-93. And I think it was a 2-seamer that was around 87-88. These were his 3 primary pitches. But, there was one strikeout that I thought for sure was a splitter, at 83. And he threw several other breaking pitches that were around 74-75, which seemed like a slurve. But, it was the big slow curve that was his out pitch.

#61 Sprowl


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Posted 10 April 2009 - 06:07 PM

I was able to attend the game last night. Tazawa was quite impressive in person. His breaking stuff was really fooling the hitters, as they kept taking called strikes. He was especially good with a curve that was around 68 mph. To me, it looked like he was throwing 2 different fastballs. He had a 4-seamer that was consistently 91-93. And I think it was a 2-seamer that was around 87-88. These were his 3 primary pitches. But, there was one strikeout that I thought for sure was a splitter, at 83. And he threw several other breaking pitches that were around 74-75, which seemed like a slurve. But, it was the big slow curve that was his out pitch.

Interesting observations, dolfanmark, thanks. Were batters swinging and missing the slow curve, or were they just giving up on it? Three primary pitches and two secondary ones make for an impressive repertoire if he can throw them wherever he wants. A 91-93 four-seamer is quite adequate if he can throw it to any corner of the strike zone. Buchholz wishes he could do as much.

#62 Mike in CT



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Posted 10 April 2009 - 06:55 PM

Is he going to pitch from the windup this year? Or is he still pitching exclusively from the stretch?

#63 champain2002

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 07:01 PM

Mike,
The only thing I could find, several different reportings of the same info:

"He just needs experience," Francona said. "He needs to work out of the delivery more because he's been pretty much out of the stretch. He'll start working on the windup and getting his innings. Hopefully he'll just pick up where he left off, because he's been really, really good."

MLB.com
which is pretty much probably the same info you have.
Dolfanmark, you sure beat reading the newspapers!!!!!!!

#64 Mike in CT



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Posted 10 April 2009 - 07:15 PM

I am hoping DolfanMark (since he want to the game) can tell us if he worked from the windup last night.

#65 champain2002

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 09:06 PM

First quality start of the year for the Portland Sea Dogs. 6 Innings, 4 hits, 2bb, 3 k's, 1 run in Portland's 4-3 win over New Britain.
MILB.com

Edited by champain2002, 15 April 2009 - 01:42 AM.


#66 TheYellowDart5


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Posted 15 April 2009 - 12:10 AM

First quality start of the year for the Portland Sea Dogs. 6 Innings, 4 hits, 2bb, 3 k's, 1 run in Portland's 4-3 win over New Britain.

That's the funny thing about quality starts—the word "quality."

1st game for Portland: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

2nd game for Portland: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, WP

And yet the 2nd game is the "quality" one.

#67 champain2002

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 02:05 AM

They really should have used a different term for that stat. The average non-seamhead would read that term as inferring something it isn't.

#68 amarshal2

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 01:22 PM

I am hoping DolfanMark (since he want to the game) can tell us if he worked from the windup last night.


Tazawa looked good again today. He was mostly 90-91. touching 92 sometimes. He seems to take an inning or so to get loose; in the first he was only mid-to-high 80s. Curve was good again, but not quite as nasty as his first start. He does pitch exclusively from the stretch...


From poster Haddock Field's recap of the game at SoxProspects.com (post linked)

#69 kazuneko

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 06:27 AM

Update on Tazawa:
He had his first bad start on 4/25, giving up six earned runs in 5 3/3rd innings (2 BB 4 Ks), but bounced back on May 1st when he struck out six while giving up only one run in 5 innings.

Edited by kazuneko, 04 May 2009 - 06:27 AM.


#70 Robinson Checo

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:14 AM

Update on Tazawa:
He had his first bad start on 4/25, giving up six earned runs in 5 3/3rd innings (2 BB 4 Ks), but bounced back on May 1st when he struck out six while giving up only one run in 5 innings.


Tazawa moved to 3-0 this week. Do you think he gets moved up to AAA after the All-Star break?

#71 OttoC


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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:38 AM

Tazawa moved to 3-0 this week. Do you think he gets moved up to AAA after the All-Star break?

Isn't there a log-jam?

#72 koufax32


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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:46 AM

I assume the abbreviated starts are the result of inning limits and not Matsuzaka-ing. Right?

#73 alskor

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 10:59 AM

I assume the abbreviated starts are the result of inning limits and not Matsuzaka-ing. Right?

Right. Tazawa really pounds the strike zone. At least he did in the spring. His pitches thrown-strike totals seem in line with that still.

#74 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:54 AM

May 12 @TRN 1 0 0.00 0 6.0 3 0 1 7
May 17 @NBR 0 1 5.40 0 5.0 7 3 1 7
May 22 CON 0 0 0.00 0 6.0 3 0 2 5


Tazawa's pitched three times since the last post here, two outings were definitely excellent, May 12 and 22, 6 innings with 3 hits allowed, 1 walk and 7 K's on the 12th, 2 walks and 5 K's on the 22nd, no runs allowed either time. On the 17th, he gave up 7 hits and 3 runs but still allowed only 1 walk with 7 K's, so either he had a brief lapse or the god BABIP worked against him that time.

#75 FanSinceBoggs

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Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:00 PM

I updated the first post in this thread with additional pics, an informative scouting report, and a link to Tazawa's statistics.

#76 cpharding618

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 07:47 PM

QUOTE (dolfanmark @ Apr 10 2009, 06:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But, there was one strikeout that I thought for sure was a splitter, at 83.


Are you sure it was a split? The SP scouting report says he throws a Forkball, not a split.

#77 SouthPaw21

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 01:51 PM

Junichi was listed as "In the Team Photo" in Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet.

QUOTE
Double-A Portland RHP Junichi Tazawa (Red Sox) has been amazingly consistent in his first taste of North American baseball. The 22-year-old Japanese righthander has allowed three runs or less in nine of his first 10 starts, posting a 5-3, 2.82 record in the process. This past week, he tossed six shutout innings against Connecticut last Friday, then struck out seven over five innings while allowing two runs Thursday against New Hampshire . . .


#78 mikeford


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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:58 PM

Tazawa allowed one run on four hits and two walks in six innings, striking out six in yesterday's game. Another remarkably consistent outing for him.

#79 aaronjohnw

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:28 PM

QUOTE (mikeford @ Jun 8 2009, 03:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tazawa allowed one run on four hits and two walks in six innings, striking out six in yesterday's game. Another remarkably consistent outing for him.


When the Red Sox first signed Tazawa, I wasn't very excited about it. I just thought he would pan out to an average #3 or #4 MLB starter at best. But he did put up impressive numbers in spring training and that caught my eye. Now he has become amazingly consistent as a starter in the minors and now he has my attention. I'm very interested as to how he'll progess through the minors as he faces tougher hitters in AAA.

#80 tmorgan

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:03 PM

QUOTE (mikeford @ Jun 8 2009, 03:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tazawa allowed one run on four hits and two walks in six innings, striking out six in yesterday's game. Another remarkably consistent outing for him.


It's been mostly good news from Tazawa, do you know how many pitches he threw? It seems like he's pretty well calibrated for the 85 pitch Portland limit, but it would be nice to know how he'd do being set a little more loose.

#81 Andrew


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Posted 08 June 2009 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE (aaronjohnw @ Jun 8 2009, 04:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When the Red Sox first signed Tazawa, I wasn't very excited about it. I just thought he would pan out to an average #3 or #4 MLB starter at best.


This would probably put him as a Top 5 prospect in the Sox system.

#82 SumnerH


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Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:35 PM

QUOTE (Andrew @ Jun 8 2009, 05:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This would probably put him as a Top 5 prospect in the Sox system.


Well, BA had him #7, BP and SOSH had him around 8, so that's not all that far off.

Though I'm not sure that a prospect whose best-case upside is a #3-4 starter is a lock for top 5 in the Sox system (assuming you mean top 5 overall, not just pitching prospects). Lars, Bowden, Kelley, Reddick, Hagadone, Kalish, Pimental, and a few others had better best-cases coming into the season.

#83 FanSinceBoggs

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Posted 22 June 2009 - 07:31 AM

After a strong start on June 20, the Red Sox placed Tazawa on the disabled list. The injury doesn't sound serious, however:

QUOTE
Tazawa won't pitch again for at least a week. The Red Sox often rest their pitching prospects during the season, and Tazawa was placed on the disabled list after the game (officially with a calf strain).

LINK: http://pressherald.m...h...69&ac=PHspt

#84 SouthPaw21

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Posted 25 June 2009 - 12:49 PM

Junichi is on the World Team Roster for the 2009 Futures Game.

#85 DavidTai

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:04 AM

NY Times article on Tazawa:

http://www.nytimes.c.../13futures.html

#86 SoxScout


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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:48 AM

Thanks for the heads up.. best part:
QUOTE
Asked Sunday night during the World team’s 7-5 victory in the Futures Game whether anyone back home resented his decision, Tazawa said through an interpreter, “I don’t know.” Asked whether he cared, Tazawa replied: “No. I just want to adjust my baseball to the U.S. style. That’s really it.”


#87 PrometheusWakefield


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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:46 AM

I wish that article had covered anything about his language skills, other than saying he was speaking through an interpreter. Does anyone have an update about that? It's an underrated and essential part of adjusting to the US.

#88 SoxScout


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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:21 AM

QUOTE (PrometheusWakefield @ Jul 14 2009, 11:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wish that article had covered anything about his language skills, other than saying he was speaking through an interpreter. Does anyone have an update about that? It's an underrated and essential part of adjusting to the US.
Fron earlier this year:
QUOTE
On days his starts, Tazawa listens to an iPod, usually the same Japanese song, and keeps to himself. On other days, he blends in. He studies English for three hours a day, four times a week. The players he hangs with most are and Felix Doubront and Chad Rhoades, “a kid from Latin America and a kid from Texas,” Cather said. Teammates have learned Japanese slang and yell out phrases. Cather sometimes walks by Tazawa and a group of teammates chatting and thinks, “How did that topic possibly come about?”

“He’s just another one of the guys,” catcher Mark Wagner said. “There’s never been any awkwardness.”

When asked about how his English is coming along, Tazawa said, “I’m not smart, so it takes time.”
http://www.boston.co...essions_of.html

#89 ngruz25


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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:33 AM

Anyone know if he's going to pitch in the EL All-Star game? He (and Madison Bumgarner) were scratched from the game because they were scheduled to pitch in the Futures Game, but neither pitched.

#90 Cuzittt


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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:01 PM

QUOTE (ngruz25 @ Jul 14 2009, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyone know if he's going to pitch in the EL All-Star game? He (and Madison Bumgarner) were scratched from the game because they were scheduled to pitch in the Futures Game, but neither pitched.


He will be in Trenton, but he will not pitch.

#91 SonsOfCharlieZink

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:11 AM

QUOTE
The most likeliest candidate to reach Triple-A is pitcher Junichi Tazawa (9-5, 2.57 ERA). He is getting better and better against Double-A hitters and it seems logical to give him a bigger challenge.


Kevin Thomas ruminating about the next Sea Dogs promotion. If you are trying to catch him in Portland best get moving on that.

#92 SoxScout


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Posted 26 July 2009 - 08:22 AM

His FIP has been between 3.00 and 3.50 since May 12. His K rate has been between 7.8 and 8.9 since his second start of the year. His walk rate was at 3.4 after his third start, it has been slowly falling since and is now at 2.4. His HR rate has been under 1.0 since May 1.

His last 5 starts:

26.3 IP
1.03 ERA
0.87 WHIP
7.5 K/9
1.7 BB/9
4.4 K/BB
0.3 HR/9

A promotion is overdue. It's time to send Charlie Zink packing.

Edited by SoxScout, 26 July 2009 - 08:26 AM.


#93 SoxScout


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Posted 26 July 2009 - 05:44 PM

Tazawa promoted to Triple-A
QUOTE
After the victory Sunday afternoon, the Portland Sea Dogs were boarding the bus for a week-long road trip. But their ace did not join them.

Instead, Junichi Tazawa will be taking a different route, joining the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. The long-awaited move has finally happened. Tazawa was 9-5 with a 2.57 ERA with the Sea Dogs. He will be starting early this week for Pawtucket.

Tazawa, 23, the sought-after free agent from Japan, signed a major league contract with the Red Sox. His variety of pitches and command are a plus. All he's needed is pro experience. It's time to be challenged by Triple-A hitters.


#94 SouthPaw21

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 12:51 PM

Junichi Tazawa was listed in the "IN THE TEAM PHOTO" section of this weeks Prospect Hot Sheet from Baseball America...

QUOTE
Just call Double-A Portland RHP Junichi Tazawa Mr. Consistency, because that's exactly what he has been this season. Last week was no different, as Tazawa pitched 11 combined innings in two outings, allowing just one run on eight hits while striking out nine. In 18 starts, Tazawa has gone fewer than five innings and allowed more than two earned runs twice each. Boston signed the 23-year-old from Japan in offseason with a three-year, $3.3 million deal, and he hasn't disappointed in his first season of American baseball . . .


#95 FanSinceBoggs

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 11:24 AM

DANIEL BARBARISI speculates that Tazawa could play a role in the Red Sox bullpen this year:

QUOTE
The trading deadline is past, but the Red Sox still have some internal questions to answer. The most pressing in this coming week will likely be figuring out the final piece of the bullpen puzzle. . .

Assistant general manager Ben Cherington was in Scranton with the PawSox, assessing the Triple-A team's pitching situation.

Jones, a big-bodied lefty, got the call to fill a bullpen hole earlier this season, and struggled in his month in the majors. Jones was unavailable Friday after pitching Thursday, so when an emergency reliever was needed after Masterson was traded, Marcus McBeth, his 2.28 ERA, and his nasty changeup were added to the 40-man roster and got the call. McBeth was only with the team for one game, on Friday night, and he didn't pitch before he was sent back down, but his presence on the 40-man may place him in front of Jones and his 3.48 ERA for the time being.

Pawtucket's best reliever is closer Fernando Cabrera, but Cabrera is not on the 40-man, and would require a roster move to promote.

Michael Bowden is on the 40-man, and it is possible he could get the call in an emergency, but it's more likely he would be recalled for a spot start than for extended bullpen duty. Double-A starter Felix Doubront is also on the 40-man, but seeing him transferred directly to the majors would be a surprise.

Then there's perhaps the most intriguing possibility: Junichi Tazawa.

Tazawa's potential exceeds any other pitcher in this group, but his experience is limited. He came to the Sox from the Japanese amateur leagues this winter, and was promoted to Pawtucket only last week. He has pitched as a starter this season, but some project that his stuff would play better out of the bullpen.

Tazawa pitched Sunday for Pawtucket, so he would likely not be available for several days, but he is on the 40-man roster already, and would be an exciting callup.

LINK:
http://www.projo.com...n.a04e3220.html






#96 SonsOfCharlieZink

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:21 PM

He is projected to start this Saturday at the Futures at Fenway game.

#97 Andrew


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Posted 03 August 2009 - 01:51 PM

Why does every article about a minor league starter mention that scouts "think his stuff might play better out of the bullpen."

Isn't that true about just about everyone? It feels like such a disingenuous throw-away line the majority of the time.

#98 Sprowl


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Posted 03 August 2009 - 02:30 PM

QUOTE (Andrew @ Aug 3 2009, 11:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Why does every article about a minor league starter mention that scouts "think his stuff might play better out of the bullpen."

Isn't that true about just about everyone? It feels like such a disingenuous throw-away line the majority of the time.

It's odd to hear it, especially when the stereotype of a pitcher whose stuff plays better out of the bullpen is a pitcher with 1 or 2 very good pitches, but no third pitch and limited stamina; or a pitcher like Masterson with a sidearm motion and a predictably huge platoon split.

Tazawa seems like the opposite kind: he has 4 very good pitches, average velocity on the fastball, excellent command, and is efficient with his pitches. I haven't seen him pitch, but he seems to have something close to Saito's repertoire, with excellent breaking stuff for out pitches. Having 4 pitches seems to be wasted on a reliever.

Can Tazawa maintain his velocity through 7 innings? He's not a big man, so limited stamina and velocity loss seem like the only things that could keep him from being a good major-league starter.

#99 SonsOfCharlieZink

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 05:25 PM

Welcome to The Show #63.

#100 SoxScout


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Posted 01 March 2010 - 04:30 AM

QUOTE
The young pitcher has come into camp noticeably bigger, looking more solid. He’s listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, but he’s clearly bigger than that now. It’s the result of an offseason spent the American way: running, lifting and bulking up rather than constantly throwing, which is the Japanese style.

“I did feel that I was a little bit tired toward the end of the season last year, so during the offseason I asked the training staff what kind of a program I should be on in order to be in full effect for this season. I feel confident in what the Red Sox provided as a training program, so I’m doing that, following that, and also taking care of my body with massage and stretch,” Tazawa said through a translator.

The effects have been immediate. Catcher Mark Wagner has come up through the minors with Tazawa, catching him last spring in both Double A and Triple A. He saw the life in Tazawa’s pitches early, then saw it disappear in the August heat. On Sunday, he faced Tazawa and witnessed life on the pitcher’s split-fingered fastball that he hadn’t seen since early last year.

“Definitely. Everybody standing around the batter’s box was like, ‘Wow,’ talking about his split. That’s where it was [early last season]. There were glimpses of that [late last season], but every time he threw it out here, it was like, man, he’s here to play,” Wagner said.

Tazawa was well aware that his “out” pitches weren’t the same at the end of the year, and he knew he had work to do to get his stamina and his power up.

“My slider and splitter was a little off toward the end of the season, so I really wanted to build that up more and improve those pitches,” Tazawa said.
The anti-Matsuzaka