SoxProspects News

April 18, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Tazawa recalled, Melancon optioned


Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe is reporting this afternoon that the Red Sox have optioned relief pitcher Mark Melancon to Triple-A Pawtucket, and is also reporting that they have recalled Junichi Tazawa to fill his roster spot.

Both players have remaining options and would not have to go through waivers to be sent down, unlike other players in the system such as Andrew Miller. However, this is Melancon's last option year, while Tazawa may be eligible for a fourth option year.

Melancon has gotten off to an awful start in his Red Sox career after he was acquired from the Houston Astros in a trade for infielder Jed Lowrie and starting pitcher Kyle Weiland.  His stats through his first four appearances are frightening: 2 innings pitched, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, and 11 earned runs (49.50 ERA).  His fastball velocity has averaged 92.5 mph - almost identical to his career average - and therefore one can assume the poor results are related to mechanics rather than injury.

Tazawa has had the opposite start to his season. Through 7 innings for Pawtucket, Tazawa has 9 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 5 hits without allowing a run.  The 25 year-old has pitched mostly in two inning stints, but did record a save over 1 inning in his last appearance on April 16.  Tazawa underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all of the 2010 season, and has slowly been working his way back to the majors, including 3 appearances for the Red Sox at the end of the 2011 season.  Unlike many relievers, he does not rely on a power arsenal with a fastball that sits mostly 88-92 mph.  However, he mixes pitches very well and compliments his fastball with a curveball, slider, and split-fingered changeup.  He will have to rely on all four of his pitches and solid command to continue to be effective at the major league level.

 
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