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Patrick Newman

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Tazawa Impresses

by Patrick Newman (Feb 24, 2009)

Junichi Tazawa is making a good impression in his first MLB camp, at least against David Ortiz. Tazawa threw 40 batting practice pitches to Red Sox hitters, and held them to 5 "hits". Ortiz saw 13 pitches, whiffed on 4 of them, and failed to hit any over the fence. Tazawa featured a 92mph fastball, a slider, and a curve in this session.

"I was nervous but happy to throw to excellent hitters. I don't want to throw any easy pitches. I put my strenght into it," said Tazawa. Pitching coach John Farrell commented that "his fastball, which was bad last time, was good. The ball jumped out of his hand". Theo Epstein called it "effective pitching" but cautioned that "it's too early to evaluate him".

Nikkan Sports has a good pic of Ortiz swinging through one of Tazawa's pitches. Tazawa will make his game debut in an exhibition against Boston College on the 25th.


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