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BOSTON (CBS) – It didn’t take long for John Farrell to name Boston’s replacement closer.
Farrell said he will turn to Junichi Tazawa to close out games with both Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan on the shelf.
“Tazawa has a little bit more fastball,” Farrell said on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday. “Whether I’m siding with the traditional approach with a little more power late in the game, that’s there. So right now, that’s the initial approach we’ll take to closing things out.”
Tazawa has been stellar out of the Boston bullpen this season, walking just three batters and allowing just four runs over 14.1 innings of work. The reliever has struck out 18 batters while recording nine holds.
Tazawa has only one career save, a three-inning appearance which came last season.
Farrell opted to go with Tazawa over Koji Uehara, who he will use in the eighth inning when needed.
“The one thing I like with Koji is you’re going to get those pinch-hit left-handers in the eighth inning, and he’s so effective against lefties,” the Sox manager said. “That’s where you might get a little bit of that gamesmanship or the matchup capability in the eighth inning.”
Bailey, who the Red Sox placed on the disabled list on Monday with a right biceps strain, is eligible to be activated on May 14. Hanrahan was inserted back into the closer’s role but left the mound in the ninth inning of Monday night’s 11-inning, 6-5 win over the Twins with forearm tightness. He will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.
Read: Red Sox-Twins Preview
The Red Sox continue a four-game set with the Twins at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.