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Yankees Look to Japan For Future Ace
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
MLB teams have been scoring big on players hijacked from Japan’s pro baseball leagues. Ichiro, Iguchi, Nomo and Matsui (the Hideki variety, sorry Kazuo) have had great success transitioning from the Japanese leagues to the MLB, and the Yankees are looking to cash in on the Japanese import scheme by locking up 25-year-old pitching phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka (left; nothing says "macho" like a powder-blue uniform) from the Seibu Lions. You may remember him from his stellar performance during the WBC last March, for which he earned the MVP title, and the Lions are now looking to ditch Matsuzaka’s salary by shipping him off to the states. The Mariners and the Yankees, both big fans of Japanese talent, are reportedly competing for the honor of bringing the pitching stud to their team for the 2007 season. Matsuzaka has already had an illustrious career, and could feasibly prove to be an ace for either team.

Matsuzaka’s career highlights:

World Baseball Classic, 2006: 3-0, 2.81 ERA, 13.0 IP, 10 SO, 3 BB, 0.85 WHIP

2005 Season: 14-13, 2.30 ERA, 215.0 IP, 226 SO

65 Career complete games

During the incredibly popular National High School Championships (much more popular than any non-pro baseball competition you will ever see in the U.S.): Matsuzaka pitched a 3-day whirlwind of amazement:

Day 1 — Pitched all 17 innings (250 pitches) in a 17-inning victory.

Day 2 — Played eight innings in the outfield with a towel wrapped around his pitching arm, then pitched the ninth inning for a save.

Day 3 — Pitched a nine-inning no-hitter.

I like my pitchers in cartoon form

This wunderkind clearly has the potential to compete with the greats. Bringing a star like this to New York would be one of the smartest moves Big Stein could make: he’s young (don’t forget, the Unit is still under contract for yet another year), hasn’t had a history of injuries (are buttocks injuries contagious? I’m looking at you, Carl Pavano), and is on his way to record-breaking ERA and strike-out numbers.

posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, August 15, 2006  
  • At 7:19 PM, Blogger George said…

    Wow I think that could be exactly what the doctor ordered for an aging Yankee rotation. If we could have someone like him and ditch the whole Wright/Pavano (I know it is funny to suggest that Pavano would pitch) fiasco and move on. About the powder blue comment, that is my favorite color. Should I not be telling my friends that?

  • At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Sandra said…

    You look like a cheerleader, but what is your purpose?
    You're no Suzy or Kim Jones.
    And are you 16 yet?

  • At 10:56 AM, Blogger Yankees Chick said…

    my purpose? that is a deep philosophical question. what is the meaning of life? another good question.

    and yes, i was 16 about 7 years ago.

  • At 11:38 AM, Anonymous English Jim said…

    This guy seems too good to be true!

    I saw him play in the WBC and he looked good but assumed that there would be next to no chance of getting him - but by the sound of your article the Lions will elt him go.

    Would you go for him ahead of Zito/Schmidt in free agent hunt?

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