The Red Sox announced late last night that reliever Junichi Tazawa would be shut down for the remainder of the season, according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. Boston's interim manager, Torey Lovullo, said the move is not injury related. Instead, the team is hoping to transition Tazawa into a normal offseason.
"Taz has been a warrior for the past three years," Lovullo said. "It was just our way to pay him back, let him get a jumpstart on the offseason, recuperate, get strong and focus on 2016. I want to make this perfectly clear: There is no injury, there is nothing behind this other than us giving him a rest."
Tazawa has been a work horse for the Red Sox bullpen, appearing in 61 games this season and 71 games in both of the previous two seasons. He lost his closer's job back on August 28th against the Mets, when he walked four consecutive batters in a game. After that outing, the Red Sox planned to shift Tazawa to be their eighth inning guy, but only when there was a slim lead.
The 2015 season has undoubtedly not gone as planned, and the Red Sox will aim to get healthy and be ready to compete in 2016. Tazawa has been a stable piece in the bullpen, as his 3.02 ERA between 2013-14 indicates.