Hirokazu Sawamura has thrown his first non-bullpen pitches as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
The hard-throwing Japanese reliever, signed in mid-February, struck out three of four batters faced Tuesday in a simulated outing. Sawamura whiffed Marcus Wilson, Josh Ockimey and Gilberto Jimenez and also induced a popup from Christian Vazquez.
Here are some highlights, courtesy of The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham and NESN’s Tom Caron:
Sawamura, whose spring training was delayed due to mandated COVID-19 screening, previously threw 23 pitches in a bullpen session. It’s unclear when he could see his first game action.
What kind of role Sawamura ultimately has with the Red Sox remains to be seen. However, given his impressive stuff and success in Japan, it’s entirely possible the 32-year-old sees high-leverage innings as the 2021 season progresses.