The Cincinnati Reds have signed right-handed pitcher Junichi Tazawa to a minor league deal. He’s been assigned to the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts. This was first reported by RosterRoundup on twitter. They also have tweeted that the team signed first baseman Samir Duenez to a minor league deal.

For Junichi Tazawa it will be his second stint in the minor leagues this season. He had been with the Chicago Cubs in Triple-A all season long. He didn’t start his season until May 12th. The righty threw 18.0 innings with 6 walks, 2 home runs allowed, and he struck out 17 batters to go along with a 4.00 ERA before being released in July.

Junichi Tazawa has spent parts of 9 seasons in the Major Leagues. The last season, in 2018, was a very tough one for the righty. Splitting the year between Miami and Los Angels (Angels) he posted a 7.07 ERA in 28.0 innings. The year prior wasn’t exactly great, either, as he posted a 5.69 ERA in 55.1 innings with the Marlins. Now with the Reds, the 33-year-old will begin his time with Cincinnati’s Double-A affiliate on the injured list.

Samir Duenez has also been assigned to the Chattanooga Lookouts. The 23-year-old had been playing with the Kansas City Royals organization this year and had split time between Double-A and Triple-A in their organization. In his 361 combined plate appearances over 92 games – mostly at first base, he had hit .199/.261/.307 with 12 doubles, a triple, and 7 home runs.

The 23-year-old is having a down season. In 2018 he performed well in Double-A where he hit .282/.357/.463 in 80 games with 18 doubles, 2 triples, and 10 home runs. The Royals released him on August 7th. He will likely pick up some time in place of Ibandel Isabel who went on the injured list this weekend for the Lookouts.

7 Responses

  1. MK

    I must have missed this answer somewhere but what is Jacob Heatherly’s injury?

  2. Doc

    An experienced pitcher with an ERA the past two years north of 5 and a hitter with .199 minor league BA over 360 ABs. That should plug a few holes for the Reds. We don’t have any bad pitchers or bad hitters currently.

    • Redsvol

      personally, I love the aggressiveness being displayed by the DW front office – never quit looking for someone who can play better than the current minor leaguers. These are minor league signings. Many of our minor leaguers are not performing anywhere near their league average. And 1 out of 100 can turn into guys that can contribute on the major league level (Van meter).

      We were much too patient during the Walt Jockety years. Turn em over DW!

  3. Randy in Chatt

    The first Japanese player the Reds have signed if I am not incorrect.

  4. MK

    Mike Lum’s, though he was born in Hawaii, parents were Japanese, that is as close as they have gotten. The Reds have had other oriental born players the most famous Danny Graves from South Vietnam and Shin-Soo Choo from Korea.

    • Optimist

      Betting that most don’t realize Graves was as Vietnamese as Ted Williams was Mexican, perhaps even a bit more so.