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“I’m not ready to throw in the major leagues yet.”
Shintaro Fujinami of the Oakland Athletics played an away match against the 2023 Major League Texas Rangers held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, USA on the 23rd (hereinafter Korean time). , and collapsed with 72 pitches, 7 hits (1 home run), 4 walks, 2 strikeouts and 8 runs (8 earned runs) in 2⅓ innings.
Fujinami, who was called 스포츠토토“Shōhei Otani (LA Angels)’s rival” in high school, was nominated by the Hanshin Tigers in the first round of the 2012 rookie draft and started his professional career. However, he started to fall from the 2016 season, and he suffered only 22 wins in 7 seasons. Fujinami had a dream, so it was to advance to the major leagues.
After the 2022 season, Fujinami publicly revealed his intention to advance to the major leagues, and entered the big leagues after signing a contract with Oakland for 3 million dollars (about 4 billion won) for one year through the posting system. Even if Fujinami returned to his good performance in the second half of the 2022 season, Auckland’s investment was too cold.
However, Fujinami struggled to secure a spot in the starting rotation as if to confront the pessimistic view of himself, and performed an unexpectedly successful game. Although he had a high WHIP (on-base percentage per inning) of 1.29, he pitched in five exhibition games and went 3-0 with an earned run average of 3.86, which was not bad. However, this appears to have been a temporary phenomenon.
Fujinami made the worst start with 8 runs (8 earned runs) in 2⅓ innings in his debut against the Los Angeles Angels on the 2nd, and collapsed with 5 runs (5 earned runs) in 4⅓ innings on the 9th against the Tampa Bay Race. In the game against the New York Mets on the 16th, he made good progress for the first time as a quality start (6 innings and less than 3 earned runs) with 3 runs (3 earned runs) in 6 innings, but this was a mirage. Fujinami left the worst pitch again in the game against Texas on the 23rd.
Criticism and accusations are pouring in on Fujinami’s successive slumps. He got angry from the command tower. Coach Mark Katsei said, “Fujinami is still struggling with the ball. He is not confident in his fastball. So he relied on a splitter who could catch a strike, but there are many good players on the opposing team. A splitter with 91 miles (about 146 km). They also respond. It doesn’t work at this level.”
The American press also openly expressed its disappointment. Joe Hughes of Auckland’s local radio ‘KCBS Radio’ said, “In the 4 games Fujinami started, there was a 39-point gap.” I couldn’t,” he said. In addition, critics such as “the worst pitcher in the major leagues” and “the worst in history” do not cease.
Alex Ramirez, former coach of the Yokohama DeNA Baystars, also played in 1,744 games in 13 seasons of Nippon Professional Baseball, recording 380 homers, 1272 RBIs, 0.301 OPS and 0.859 batting average in 2017. pinched
“I wasn’t surprised by this result because I’ve seen it many times in Nippon Professional Baseball,” Ramirez said on social media. Oakland’s best is to use Fujinami as a pitching reliever for one or two innings, or go down to Double-A for better results. “Fujinami isn’t ready to pitch in the major leagues yet,” he said.