John Farrell was on MLB Network Radio today and was asked about his closer situation, what with Joel Hanrahan leaving Monday’s game with forearm soreness:
“We’d look to close Tazawa, keep Koji in the 8th inning role. Fortunately we have some depth internally”
Koji being Koji Uehara, of course, who many probably assumed would be next in line for ninth inning duties. But nope.
For what it’s worth, Tazawa is striking out 11.3 batters per nine innings without walking too many dudes. There’s no reason to think he couldn’t handle it.
Almost exactly a year ago, Diamondbacks outfielder Steven Souza Jr. tore a bicep while diving for a ball in a spring training game. He’d play in only 72 games last year but he really wasn’t healthy for any of them, with the injury and aggravations to it costing him production and causing him pain.
When he started spring training this year he said he’d take it easier in games that didn’t count so he could be ready for the regular season. Sadly, he was once again injured on the eve of Opening Day, crumbling to the ground after injuring his knee while scoring on a double in an exhibition game against the White Sox (video here if you want to see it).
The injury looked bad — he was in obvious pain and could not put any weight on the leg while being helped off the field. He’s undergoing an MRI today and we’ll hear more soon, but it does not look good.
Assuming Souza is out for an extended period, Adam Jones will likely be the Dbacks’ everyday right fielder.