• Kyodo

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Right-hander Junichi Tazawa got off to a rough start in his new Miami Marlins uniform and ended up landing on the 10-day disabled list with rib cartilage inflammation, less than two months into the season.

After a bright spring training with seven shutout innings in seven preseason games, his first National League season unfolded differently but Tazawa said Thursday he has found comfort in the fact that he is making progress in his recovery.

“I’m gradually getting better,” Tazawa said a day after throwing 20 pitches during an inning in a simulated game against minor-league players, testing various pitches with runners on base.

“There are times when catchers just call for fastballs in the minors, but I was able to have a decent outing,” he said.

The 30-year-old Tazawa, who spent seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox before joining Miami on a two-year contract in December, has gone 1-1 with a 6.60 ERA in 16 game appearances so far.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Tazawa is scheduled to take part in pitching practice once every two days, and hopes to have him pitch in a Triple-A New Orleans game in the final phase of his rehab.

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