Tazawa to Boston, Melancon to Pawtucket

Roughly 15 minutes prior to first pitch last night against the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox officially announced  that PawSox reliever Junichi Tazawa has been recalled from Pawtucket, while Mark Melancon has been optioned to Triple-A.

“Taz,” as he is known in the PawSox clubhouse, tossed four scoreless appearances totaling seven innings prior to the promotion. The right-hander fanned four batters in two separate outings and earned his first save of 2012 on Monday in Syracuse.

“He rested well over the winter and now looks like he’s put it all together,” PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler told me. “He’s getting ahead of hitters, locating his fastball, and putting guys away.”

This will be the third major league call-up for 25-year-old Tazawa. (Kelly O'Connor)

When I talked to Pawtucket pitching coach Rich Sauveur about Tazawa’s strong play, he echoed some of what Arnie said. “He’s locating his fastball and mixing his pitches well,” said Sauveur. “Because he’s commanding all three of his pitches, he’s trusting all three of his pitches.”

As Tazawa prepares for his first big league action since September 24 of last year when he pitched against the Yankees, Melancon makes his first trip to the minor league circuit since 2010 when he appeared in a combined 43 games between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) and Round Rock (Astros).

Melancon has four years of Major League time on his resume where he's combined to go 10-7, 4.03 ERA in 110 games. (Kellly O'Connor)

The righty collected 20 saves last year with Houston, but in four appearances (just 2.0 IP) with the Sox, Melancon has surrendered 11 runs on 10 hits including five homers.

2011                                                   2012 

Pitches thrown: 1,221                   Pitches thrown: 71

HR allowed: 5                                 HR allowed: 5

The PawSox wrap up a nine-game road trip this afternoon from Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse. At 6-2, Pawtucket has the best road record in the International League and is one win away from their first series sweep of the season. Red Sox lefty Andrew Miller is expected to make another rehab outing this afternoon as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Right-hander Alex Wilson makes his first start of the year against the Chiefs.

First pitch today is scheduled for high noon with pre-game coverage beginning at 11:45.

Talk with you then,

-AG

@aaronmgoldsmith
agoldsmith@pawsox.com

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