Red Sox right-hander Junichi Tazawa was one of the league’s best setup men from 2012-2014 and for most of this season, but after three ugly outings in the past three weeks the team has decided to shut him down for the rest of the year.
Tazawa had a 2.60 ERA and 46/7 K/BB ratio in 45 innings through the end of July, but since August 1 he’s 0-4 with a 9.22 ERA and 10/6 K/BB ratio while allowing 14 runs in 14 innings. That includes coughing up four runs to take the loss against the Rays on September 11, which is the last time he pitched.
In shutting down Tazawa manager Torey Lovullo insisted that he’s not injured and the Red Sox are simply managing his workload in a non-contending season. Hopefully that’s true, because he’s under team control for 2016 via arbitration and figures to resume setup man duties.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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