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Junichi Tazawa promoted to Pawtucket

Junichi Tazawa is finally going to get a change of scenery.

After dominating AA-hitters for most of the season, Tazawa is being promoted to the PawSox:

PORTLAND — The Sea Dogs knew they were not going to hold on to pitcher Junichi Tazawa much longer.

Word finally arrived Sunday. Tazawa, 23, has been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket.

After their 8-3 victory Sunday over New Hampshire, the Sea Dogs boarded a bus for a weeklong road trip. Tazawa, meanwhile, made plans to join the Red Sox top affiliate, along with trainer Masaki Kubota.

In 18 starts, Tazawa was 9-5 with a 2.57 ERA. He struck out 88 and walked just 26.

In his last five starts, Tazawa had a 1.03 ERA with 22 strikeouts and five walks.

"He's done a real nice job," Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler said. "He's become a really polished guy. It will be interesting to watch him."

It's great to see Tazawa get promoted. Obviously the Sox weren't sure how Tazawa would do once he came over to the states, but when it comes to Double-A, he's had no problems. His biggest test will now be in Pawtucket where he'll face some talented hitters.

So while the Sox stuggle with starters on the big-league level, they bring up Clay Buchholz, with Michael Bowden down in AAA. Now Tazawa is there, too. The starting pitching is just ridiculous at this point. Here's a couple of no-doubters: John Smoltz won't be back next year, neither will Brad Penny. Guaranteed.