Red Sox name Junichi Tazawa their closer

USA TODAY Sports

Junichi Tazawa will play the role of Boston's closer while they wait for Andrew Bailey to mend.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said today on MLB Network Radio that Junichi Tazawa will be the man getting save opportunities while Andrew Bailey (and perhaps Joel Hanrahan) are on the disabled list.

So far this year, Junichi tazawa holds a 2.51 ERA in 14 innings of work with 18 strikeouts and three walks. These numbers, while impressive, actually represent a drop from the ridiculous 2012 campaign (1.43 ERA, 45:5 K:BB) that earned him a central spot in Boston's bullpen to begin with. Still, if Tazawa hasn't been as dominant, he's played a very important role as Boston's fireman this year. He's no stranger to pressure situations, and should bring the same stabilizing presence to the ninth that Andrew Bailey managed while healthy.

The move will keep Koji Uehara in his current role as the setup man, with Craig Breslow the easy choice to replace Tazawa in his old role. There's every likelihood, though, that Tazawa is just keeping the seat warm for Andrew Bailey. The only question is whether Joel Hanrahan will get another crack at it should he return first.

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