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Friday, April 26, 2019

Kikuchi to ‘open’ for Mariners against Rangers

One of the reasons left-hander Yusei Kikuchi signed with the Seattle Mariners in the offseason was the unique wellness plan they pitched to him.

Trying to avoid the injuries that have befallen Japanese stars like Yu Darvish, Shohei Ohtani and Daisuke Matsuzaka once they started pitching every five days in the majors as compared to the six-man rotations they use overseas, the Mariners will use Kikuchi as an “opener” about once a month, pitching just the first inning or so before handing the ball to one of Seattle’s pitching prospects.

That plan will be put to use for the first time Friday night against the visiting Texas Rangers.

Question, for those who know Japanese baseball better than I do- is it just the rotations that are at issue, or could there be other causes?

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:17 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners, opener, yusei kikuchi

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   1. John Reynard Posted: April 27, 2019 at 05:18 AM (#5835848)
I'd think its a combination of being used to pitching once a week and the higher quality of particularly the bottom third of MLB lineups. NPB has enough MLB or near-MLB caliber hitters to fill out part of every team's lineup. But, the bottom guys are in some cases not even AAA quality. That second part is the same reason if you pulled a pitcher from 1960 and tossed him into 2019 baseball he wouldn't be able to throw 300+ innings (or even 250+ innings). There is no room to as Robin Roberts said "let off the gas on the middle infielders to keep his arm strong for the tough outs".

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