The Athletics are moving right-hander Shintaro Fujinami from the rotation to a relief role, manager Mark Kotsay told reporters before tonight’s game against the Angels (relayed by Martín Gallegos of MLB.com). Kotsay left open the possibility for an eventual move back to the starting staff but suggested the club would first “assess” Fujinami in shorter stints.
Oakland signed Fujinami to a one-year, $3MM deal over the winter. It was one of the more intriguing low-cost dice rolls of the offseason. Fujinami had shown excellent arm speed and quality strikeout stuff at times in his career in Japan. That had often been paired with huge walk totals to the point that his NPB club, the Hanshin Tigers, frequently moved him between the top roster and their minor league club.
The A’s gave Fujinami a crack at a rotation job to bring him to Oakland. The 6’6″ hurler issued 17 walks in 18 2/3 innings in Spring Training, yet the A’s stuck with the plan to keep him in the Opening Day starting staff. Fujinami has taken four times through the rotation but has yet to find any success. He’s allowed 24 runs in only 15 innings, walking 12 batters and surrendering 19 hits. Fujinami only once made it past the fifth inning and took the loss in all four outings.
It’s obviously not how the team nor the 29-year-old had envisioned his first few weeks in the majors. They’ll hope for better results in short stints, where Fujinami’s power arsenal could be more effective. He’s averaged just under 97 MPH on his fastball and gotten a decent number of swinging strikes on both his splitter and slider. He’s issued far too many walks and given up plenty of hard contact out of the rotation though.
The A’s lost a member of their relief corps to injury, as righty Adrián Martínez landed on the 15-day injured list with a strain in his throwing elbow. Kotsay told repairers that Martínez underwent an MRI and is shut down from throwing for the next few days while the club awaits imaging results (Gallegos link). A more specific timeline will be dependent on the MRI but it’d seem likely he’ll be out beyond two weeks.
Fujinami and recent trade acquisition Sam Long offer the ability to work multiple innings in relief. Meanwhile, it seems as if another offseason pickup — KBO signee Drew Rucinski — could take the vacated rotation spot. Rucinski has been on the IL all season due to a hamstring issue. He’s now made three rehab starts with Triple-A Las Vegas, reaching five innings and 72 pitches yesterday. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s reinstated to make his A’s debut later this week.
The A’s rolled the dice on Fujinami. Maybe he will fare better as a reliever…
They need to move back to Japan he’s total garbage
What a relief … he was driving away the fan(s).
you can’t have a negative # of fans
What do you mean? This guy has been carrying my fantasy team so far!
Get Off My Mound
Come up with something new. You’re tired shtick grew old way too long ago.
Many sports fans are afflicted with a condition that makes them repeat the same joke/pun constantly until they die. It is a terrible thing
Get Off My Mound
It really is. It’s a real shame these type of people have no concept of real comedy and timing.
I’m sorry you didn’t like my comment. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, and I am truly a Shintaro Fujinami fan.
We were replying to statman. The negativity wasn’t directed at you @MiggyforMVP
Okay! Thank you for clarifying!
24 ER’s in 15 innings is a rough way to start a career. However, the A’s knew when they signed him that control was an issue.
It is baffling how utterly bad the A’s pitching staff is. The starting rotation is 0-11, the bullpen is 4-7 and the only pitcher that seems to be able to win a game is out with anxiety. The ’23 A’s pitching staff is the pitching equivalent of the ’22 Tigers offense
He plunked 3 batters too. Control issues are clearly evident.
I dont have the stats, but his control was usually better over the first 2 innings in the games I watched.
But being demoted on this A’s roster is not a good sign for future SP roles.
One time a few years ago in Japan he hit 3 straight batters in a row 2 in the head causing a brawl
Dumpster Divin Theo
Fujinami- can’t spell fun w/o him. The hapless As are finally playing with some reckless abandon-Refreshing to see them put up an 11 spot vs a sleepy Angels club including guy running thru a stop sign, evading a tackle from his 3b coach in the process
Dumpster Divin Theo
A fun win for the As on FS1. Sure they’ll finish at least 49 games out but there’s kind of a Major League vibe to that clubhouse. Journeymen like Rooker going off
I’m deeply moved
I really wanted to see what Rooker could do when the Padres had him last year because he has like 60+ grade power and the potential to hit a ton of bombs, but unfortunately they only played him in like 2 games and moved on.
Glad he’s getting an extended look and an opportunity to show what he’s capable of now. His walk and strikeout rates are crazy right now compared to his career norms in the minors (like 2x what they normally are) so he’s going to regress some, but if he can maintain some improvements in those areas with his pop he could end up being a great pickup for the A’s.
Vince Ferragamo's Dog
How do u say AAA in Japanese ?
二軍 (Pronounced: Ni-Goon)
They don’t really have a full Single-A through Triple-A system, but that’s the equivalent. Bauer is currently playing in that section of their system so he can build up his pitch count and speed.
You said it!
I don’t speak German. What did he say?
Sorry! There’s no way but up!
He will be a very good disposable reliefer especially for their losing games and that’s a lot of games for this team.
His arm may fall off.
literally means nothing
Thank you because it just messes up the whole staff with the six man . Plus the A’s need a strong arm in late innings .
I know he’s been bad, but this makes no sense. They already suck, might as well see if he can figure it out over the course of a couple of months.
Vince Ferragamo's Dog
Common man, give the guy a chance ! A’s R so cheap they neglected to get Shintaro an interpreter, just winging it w/ ‘Japanese4 Dummies’ book in dugout :/
Definitely a trade piece come deadline this year
I called this. I bet he will be much better in this role.