What to expect from Shun Yamaguchi

This week the Blue Jays added another pitcher, signing Shun Yamaguchi to a two year deal worth just over $6M. Yamaguchi, 32, has spent the entirety of his 14 year career pitching in Japan in the NPB. This offseason the Blue Jays front office has stressed they want versatility and flexibility. Yamaguchi brings that, having both starting experience (he’s made 90 starts over his career) and bullpen experience (he has 112 career saves).
Yamaguchi was a starter this past season, and was one of the best in Japan. Per Baseball Reference he had a 2.78 ERA, in 181.0 innings. He struck out 194 batters while walking just 64. Most impressively he only allowed eight home runs.
Per this profile done on Yamaguchi by NPB reporter Jim Allen, Yamaguchi throws five pitches a fastball, splitter, slider, curve and a two-seam fastball. He primarily relies on the first three pitches, throwing the fastball 43.7% of the time, the splitter 26.6%, and the slider 20.2%. Here is a great look at all three pitches in action.

Another pitcher the #MNTwins have interest in: Shun Yamaguchi of the Yomiuri Giants. Twins and other MLB teams have until January 2 to negotiate with him. pic.twitter.com/fQ8qmKaKqU
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) December 16, 2019

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

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