JUPITER, Fla. -- Finding consistency with the bullpen from year to year is a task, but Marlins manager Don Mattingly has all the confidence that former Boston Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa can fit in with a new team in 2017.After spending all seven of his previous seasons in a
JUPITER, Fla. -- Finding consistency with the bullpen from year to year is a task, but Marlins manager Don Mattingly has all the confidence that former Boston Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa can fit in with a new team in 2017.
After spending all seven of his previous seasons in a Red Sox uniform, the right-hander is attempting to bolster the Marlins' bullpen. He signed with the club as a free agent in December.
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"Relievers are so volatile from year to year," Mattingly said. "But we think the quality of his stuff is still good."
As Mattingly continues to put his stamp on the team, Tazawa could be a good fit.
"We like what he brings to this club; it's a different look," Mattingly said. "It's semi-power but he gets lefties out. He's got a whole different kind of mix than the guys that we have.
"We like that difference with him and [Brad] Ziegler that we've been able to bring in and bring some variety to our 'pen, [to] give us a different look."
In seven seasons with the Red Sox, Tazawa compiled a 17-20 record with a 3.58 ERA. He finished 56 games for the club and had four saves. He also started four games and threw a total of 312 innings.
Tazawa appeared in 13 postseason games in 2013, including five World Series appearances. He worked 7 1/3 innings and posted a 1.23 ERA in the postseason.
"I guess when you sign a guy you bet on who you think he is right now, knowing that year to year that the relievers in my mind are more volatile than probably any other position," Mattingly said.
But he said he's liked what he's seen so far.
"You just don't quite know [when] that's going to be, because when a guy [is] successful you use him a lot," Mattingly said. "Does that wear him down for the next year? You see it a lot out of the World Series guys. They come back next year and it seems like they've been used so much that the next year [they don't] always come back the same way.
"But we just feel like he's going to be there for us."
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.