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Junichi Tazawa
Birthdate: 6/6/1986 (30 y, 9 m, 19 d)     Bats/Throws: R/R     Height/Weight: 5-11/180     Position: P
Contract: $12M / 2 Years (2017 - 2018)
RotoWire News: Tazawa will work on lowering his arm angle this spring, The Sun-Sentinel reports. "He's navigating through," pitching coach Juan Nieves said. "I think there's a little bit of work to be done, but I think with the youth here, he's a great complement for us. He could be used in a shorter role, less stressful innings." (2/24/2017)
Profiles:  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  (Click Year to Expand / Close)
Profile: Tazawa's career 4.34 strikeout-to-walk ratio (K/BB) ranks in the top 5% of all pitchers since his debut (min. 300 innings). Most pitchers with his skill set — think Kenley Jansen, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Sale, Stephen Strasburg, Corey Kluber, Matt Harvey... — succeed with that level of base runner suppression. Indeed, Tazawa excelled for a few years until consecutive rocky seasons concluded his Red Sox tenure. A poor strand rate in 2015 and an inflated home run-to fly-ball rate in 2016 pushed his ERA north of 4.00 each season. Those numbers didn't scare away the Marlins, as his peripheral metrics, like his K/BB, have remained consistent. He actually relied more than ever on his off-speed stuff, an adjustment that could help him stave off the impending gloom of being 30-plus. Tazawa figures to slot into a middle-relief role in front of A.J. Ramos and/or Brad Ziegler and/or Kyle Barraclough. (Even the seemingly revitalized David Phelps could eventually be a preferred late-inning option, depending on how things shake out midseason.) He once looked like a decent speculative pick as Ramos' "handcuff," but the offseason signing of Ziegler clouds Tazawa's prospects of producing any meaningful value in 2016. He's not worth your attention. (Alex Chamberlain)

The Quick Opinion: With a couple of years of bad luck behind him, Tazawa could return to his typically admirable performance, albeit in middle relief. Several other relievers could be favored over him as insurance to A.J. Ramos, rendering Tazawa all but useless in most fantasy formats.

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