Look at the Boston Red Sox and think: what’s their biggest problem?
It’s pitching, right? Right. Well, that’s not good considering what John Farrell said today.
Farrell said pitching is whats going to determine this division
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) August 11, 2016
Yeah. Pitching is problem. A lot of the culprits have already been identified in the Red Sox mess on the mound. But Junichi Tazawa has been ignored throughout when he is one of their biggest problems.
The longest-tenured member of the Red Sox bullpen, Tazawa owns a 6.63 ERA in 21 outings dating back to May 28. In that span, opposing hitters own a .985 OPS against him — or you could just say they own him.
Yes, his 3.96 ERA on the year cannot be faulted. But consider this: his ERA through his first 21 outings of the season was 1.37 and he was the one owning hitters as they posted just a .450 OPS against him in that span.
Tazawa has shown signs of fatigue at various points in his career and this year is no different. With the miles Boston has put on his arm (228.2 since 2013), there might not be much use left.
Clearly, the Red Sox could use an upgrade from the 6.63 ERA pitcher Tazawa has been these past few months. At this point, why not designate him for assignment? He’s a free agent after this season and there will be better options on the open market.
Sure, he has tenure, but sometimes, you’ve just got to do what is best for the team.
Casey Janssen would have been nice to try out in place of Tazawa, but he opted out and the Red Sox had not called him up yet. But wait, Heath Hembree has not allowed a run in nine Triple-A outings this season. Maybe he could replace Tazawa. He’s 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA in 27 big league outings this season and he’s looked real good in Pawtucket lately.
No doubt the Red Sox have a tough situation on the mound. And speaking of No Doubt, it is fair to say they’re “walking into spiderwebs” right now.