Tazawa was released by the Marlins on Wednesday, Matthew DeFranks of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Tazawa was designated for assignment May 17, and he'll look to catch on elsewhere after his departure from the Marlins. He failed to show much consistency out of the bullpen through 22 games, posting an alarming 9.00 ERA with 13 walks across 20 innings.
Tazawa was designated for assignment by Miami on Thursday, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. Tazawa had appeared in 22 games this season, posting an unsightly 9.00 ERA and 2.05 WHIP over 20 innings of relief. In the past two days, he's given up six earned runs in just 1.1 innings against the Dodgers and was immediately cast off the 40-man roster following Thursday's outing. He will be subject to waivers but will report to Triple-A New Orleans if unclaimed by another organization.
Tazawa surrendered six runs on four hits -- including two home runs -- and two walks over 0.2 innings of relief while striking out one in Thursday's loss to the Brewers. The right-hander came into the game with a 1.69 ERA, but Thursday's disaster inflated it to 6.35. As has been the issue for Tazawa for the last couple of seasons, he's having trouble keeping the ball in the park, serving up four homers in 11.1 innings. Declining fastball velocity isn't helping in that department, either -- he was unable to touch 92 mph in Thursday's outing, and his 91.3 mph average so far this season would be his lowest mark since his first brief taste of the majors in 2009. Despite a strong 11.1 K/9 at the moment, Tazawa's fantasy outlook for the remainder of 2018 looks bleak.
Tazawa has a 4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 1:1 K:BB through four innings this spring. While the ERA and WHIP don't mean much given the small sample, Tazawa's lack of dominance continues the trend from last season, when he managed a career-low 6.2 K/9 after routinely posting marks of 9.0 or higher during his time with the Red Sox. The 31-year-old is set to serve as middle relief for the Marlins in 2018, a role that likely won't offer him many save or hold opportunities on a team that could struggle to get to 60 wins, and if he isn't offering a palatable strikeout rate either, Tazawa's fantasy value in any format would be effectively nil.
Tazawa has eight strikeouts and has allowed four runs over nine innings since coming off the disabled list June 22. Now in his first season with Miami, the former Boston reliever has 19 total strikeouts as he's had to battle a rib injury for much of the season. Due to the injury, the Japanese native hasn't seen as much late-inning work as he'd become accustomed to in the past. Given the improved play of Kyle Barraclough, the current arrangement in Miami's bullpen might not be changing any time soon, so fantasy owners shouldn't expect Tazawa's role to improve.