A 7-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday afternoon (May 17) was likely the last time relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa will be seen in a Miami Marlins uniform. That is because, after the game, the Marlins decided they had enough of seeing him often get lit up by opposing hitters and decided to designate the 31-year-old (turns 32 on June 6) Tazawa for assignment. In the 77 games he was called on to pitch for Miami, he went 4-6 with a 6.57 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. They will be responsible for the rest of what he is owed from his $7 million salary this season unless he is traded to or claimed by another team.

Solid run in Boston

From 2012-16, the right-handed Tazawa was a reliable pitcher out of the bullpen for the Boston Red Sox. In 293 relief appearances over that time, he pitched to the tune of a 3.20 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and struck out 9.2 batters per nine innings. He had an impressive 4.77 strikeout-to-walk ratio in that five-season span. After the 2016 season, the Marlins made it a priority to focus on improving and retooling their bullpen. They signed Tazawa to a two-year deal worth $12 million.

Subpar first season in Miami

Tazawa made 55 appearances in his first season with the Marlins in 2017. In 55 1/3 innings, he finished with a disappointing 5.59 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. That well-over four-strikeout-to-one-walk ratio he had with Boston from 2012-16 dropped substantially to 1.73 in 2017.

Where he struggled most last year was pitching at Marlins Park. In his 27 innings pitched at home, he allowed 23 runs, 34 hits, and nine home runs.

Miserable start to 2018

The 2018 season actually went pretty well for Tazawa in the beginning. From March 29 to April 16 (nine appearances), he allowed two earned runs in 10 2/3 innings for a 1.69 ERA.

It went completely downhill for him since that time though. Tazawa had a disastrous outing in his following appearance giving up six earned runs in 2/3 of an inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. In his two most recent outings, he gave up three earned runs each time, including in Thursday’s loss to the Dodgers.

Altogether since April 19, he pitched in 13 games.

Tazawa gave up 18 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings for an astronomical 17.36 ERA. He allowed 23 hits, seven walks, and four home runs. This year, more of his struggles came on the road. While he wasn’t great at home either, he was absolutely horrid in away games. In nine games away from home (6 1/3 innings), Tazawa gave up 11 runs, 13 hits, and four home runs.