Surgery to end Tazawa's season

Updated: April 2, 2010, 8:53 AM ET
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox minor league right-hander Junichi Tazawa will have Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery Tuesday, ending his 2010 season before it even began, manager Terry Francona said Thursday.

The surgery will be performed by orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Recovery time is typically nine months to a year.

Tazawa
Tazawa

Tazawa, a 23-year-old Japanese industrial league find who made four starts for the Red Sox last season and was projected to be in Triple-A Pawtucket's starting rotation, has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow.

Tazawa had told reporters Tuesday the tightness he'd experienced in camp this spring was something he had pitched with in the past in Japan, but the Red Sox decided to have it checked by Andrews. Tazawa had given up five home runs in seven innings this spring.

"There were times in camp here that he felt normal and there were other times where because of lack of command or action to his pitches he felt like something wasn't quite right either in the game or the amount of recovery time he would need," Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell said earlier this week. "And we mapped out his workload to give him ample time to recover, although it got to a point where we needed to take a further look and get an in-depth evaluation."

Francona also offered these tidbits Thursday morning:

•  Left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is not playing in a game for a third straight day, but Francona insists it's just to let him rest his arm, sore after a day of working on cutoffs and relays in camp a few days ago. Ellsbury is scheduled to take batting practice Thursday.

•  First baseman Kevin Youkilis will not play Thursday after fouling a pitch off his right knee the day before, but Francona said it's just a bruise.

•  Pitcher Fernando Cabrera was reassigned to minor-league camp.

•  Reserve outfielder Jeremy Hermida (hamstring) will go to minor-league camp Friday to get multiple at-bats, then will head north with the club.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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