Shintaro Fujinami, who was on the verge of being fired from the team, is the only team that “might extend a hand” to him. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Shintaro Fujinami, who was on the verge of being fired from the team, is the only team that “might extend a hand” to him.

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Fujinami’s pitching has been struggling since the Open due to a lack of control.

A series of walks, a forced out, a wild pitch, and a timely hit with runners in scoring position……. Shintaro Fujinami, 30, of Syracuse’s 3A affiliate with the Mets, is in a state of shock. Here are some of his recent pitches.

April 26 (Japan time): 1/3 inning pitched, gave up 4 walks, 1 hit, and 6 runs.

April 29: 1/3 inning pitched, 2 walks, 2 hits, 2 runs allowed.

May 4: 2 innings pitched, 4 walks, 1 hit, 2 runs allowed.

Just by looking at the results, you can see the devastation. He has given up 19 runs in 7 2/3 innings pitched in the minors, and has given up runs in 5 consecutive games since April 15. His earned run average (average earned runs per game) is over 20. His earned-run average was 14.09 (as of May 8).

Fujinami has been in trouble since the season opener, giving up five runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched with a 12.27 earned-run average in five appearances. Even entering the season, there were many cases where he was knocked out without lasting an inning as a reliever.

Considering his salary, which is an estimated $3.35 million plus piece-rate pay, he has not been very good at all. He is on the verge of being fired, and it would not be surprising if he were to receive a notice of withdrawal at any time.

(A reporter from a sports newspaper) “Although his control stabilized for a while, ……

Fujinami was transferred from Hanshin to the Athletics in January 2011 under the posting system, and from the beginning he was regarded with concern for his control as he gave up four walks in a row. However, his control stabilized later that year when he switched from a starter to a reliever, and when he moved to the Orioles in July, his defensive average improved to the 4-point range. However, …….

He was granted FA rights and will move to the prestigious Mets this season. However, (as mentioned above) he was very poor from the opening game and was demoted to the minors. It is unclear what specific negotiations took place between his agent and the Mets, but I guess there was no contract clause that said he would not be dropped to the minors.

He is not able to play in the majors and seems to have lost a lot of motivation. I think his lack of positive attitude is affecting his pitching as well. With his current performance and poor control of his pitches, no major league team would be interested in acquiring Fujinami even if he is released by the Mets.

Without a destination in the majors, the most likely scenario is a return to Japanese baseball. The most likely candidate would be his old team, Hanshin. However, there are also rumors of a surprising team.

It is said that Hanshin manager Akifumi Okada doesn’t have much respect for Fujinami, who has poor control. The trend this season is for pitching to be high and hitting to be low, and most teams have relatively stable pitching staffs. It would be difficult to find a team that would be willing to give him a hand.

If I had to pick one team, it would be Rakuten, which has the worst team batting average among the 12 teams. Senior Director Kazuhisa Ishii, who also comes from a pitching background, has experience in the majors. Rakuten may be able to revitalize Fujinami.

Fujinami will have to produce results in the minors if he is to be promoted to the majors again. Fujinami’s moment of truth will continue.

  • PHOTO REX/Afro

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