A Japanese fireballer with a 164 kilometre per hour fastball is joining the worst team in the majors and the best team in the world in a bid to win the World Series.
“The Baltimore Orioles have acquired Shintaro Fujinami, 29, from the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline,” MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, reported on Tuesday.
Baltimore is 58-37 (.611 winning percentage) and recently overtook the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the American League East. With the Orioles pushing for a postseason berth, they were looking to bolster their pitching staff ahead of the trade deadline, and Fujinami was one of their first targets. “The Orioles needed to bolster their pitching staff, and they’ve finally taken the first step in doing so,” said MLB.com of the deal.
Fujinami, who made a name for himself as a high school rival of Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels), spent 10 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers in Nippon Professional Baseball before breaking into the major leagues this year in an Oakland uniform.
It was a rough start. After a rough start with four losses and a 14.40 ERA in his first four starts, Oakland made a breakthrough by moving Fujinami to the bullpen.
In 17 appearances since June, Fujinami has settled down to a 3.26 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings. He has pitched even better in July, with a 2.25 ERA in seven games. For the season, he is 5-8 with an 8.57 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings.
Fujinami’s best weapon is his four-seam fastball. It averages 98 miles per hour (158 km/h) and has been clocked as high as 102.1 miles per hour (164 km/h).
Baltimore has an “all-star duo” in the bullpen in set-up man Yoenis Cano and closer Felix Batista. Add Fujinami to the mix, and the Orioles’ bullpen will be even more formidable.온라인카지노
This is the second time the Orioles have acquired a Japanese-born player. Prior to Fujinami, Koji Uehara played for the Orioles from 2009-2011. The last Korean player to play for the Orioles was Kim Hyun-soo. Kim made his major league debut with the Orioles in 2016 before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2017 season. Prior to Kim, the Orioles also acquired Yoon Seok-min, who bounced around the minor leagues before returning to KIA.