Bosox Hurlers: Made in Japan

saito There used to be a time when “Made in Japan” meant inferior quality, not anymore, just ask the Red Sox. The Red Sox just added Takashi Saito, former Dodgers closer, who first became a closer in Japan when his predecessor, Kazuhiro Sasaki came to the Mariners. In Japan Saito had a tendency to give up alot of home runs, 15 off the bat of Hedeki Matsui, which should be interesting. The Red Sox are hoping the 38 year old Saito can bounce back from an elbow injury, which landed him on the disabled list for much of 2008. Junichi Tazawa, a 22 year old, righthander, who idolizes Daisuke Matsuzaka, signed with Boston, in early December. The 5’11” Tazawa was 6-1 with a 1.00 ERA, striking out 56 in 54 innings in 2008, with Nippon. In signing two more Japanese hurlers, the Bosox are hoping for the same type of success they’ve had with Daisuke Matsuzaka & Hideki Okajima. Daisuke and his gyroball were only 15-12 in his first year with Boston, but he had a breakout 18-3 record last year. While lefthanded reliever Hideki Okajima has been solid in his two seasons with the Red Sox, more than 60 games & 60 innings pitched, & a sub 3.00 ERA, each year.

So, if you want to watch the Boston Red Sox staff this spring, you might be better off following the Japanese team in the World Baseball Classic.

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