Uehara, Tazawa will ease into spring training games

Uehara, Tazawa will ease into spring training games
February 27, 2014, 2:15 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In addition to holding back Jon Lester and John Lackey at the start of Grapefruit League play, the Red Sox will also take a conservative approach with two late-inning relievers -- Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa.
     
In recognition of their workloads and, in Uehara's case, age, the Sox are in no hurry to get them into games with the regular season opener more than four weeks away.
     
There'll be plenty of opportunities to get them work in the final two-and-a-half to three weeks of exhibition play.
     
"(Uehara) and Junichi, they'll get in games probably around a third of the way through the schedule," said John Farrell. "They're throwing the ball extremely well. But we're just trying to balance out the number of appearances last year."
     
A third of the way through would have Uehara and Tazawa pitching in games around March 9 or so.
     
Uehara pitched a total of 88 innings between the regular season and playoffs, the most he's worked since coming to MLB for the 2009 season.
     
Tazawa, two years removed from Tommy John surgery, also posted a career-high with 75 2/3 innings between the regular season and October. Tazawa's previous high was 44 innings in 2012.