“Worst ever” and a cheap shot? A Japanese Fireballer trade card?

Could Oakland Athletics Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami draw interest on the trade market?

Fujinami realized his major league dream this year when he joined Oakland on a one-year, $3.25 million contract, but he shocked himself and many who watched him by going 4-0 with a 14.40 ERA in his first four starts. Even with a 160 mph fastball, he struggled with his control and never seemed to settle down.

Eventually moved to the bullpen after five games, Fujinami has shown a different side as of late. He pitched a perfect ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers on Sept. 5, striking out three and walking none, before allowing a run in the top of the 10th inning in a 1-0 victory to improve to 5-7 on the season. It was his second straight save, following a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 2.

Fujinami, who touched 102.1 mph on June 6, has shown significant improvement in his ability to strike out batters, a strength of the Fireballers, as he has a 3.45 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 15⅔ innings over his last 15 games. “Fujinami has been using his fastball more and his splitter and slider less since June 5,” said data analyst Brendan Stefek.

“Fujinami is a trade piece,” said Carl Booscheck of A’s Unleashed, an Oakland-based organization. With the major league trade deadline next month on April 2, Oakland, which is 25-63 with a .284 winning percentage after five days, is in last place among the 30 major league teams in winning percentage, so the A’s could trade him, a strong bullpen arm, to a higher-ranked team and receive prospects.

Fujinami is the fifth-highest paid pitcher on the team in the small-market Oakland organization, so the A’s would be able to save on salary. If he’s in fireballer mode, which he has been lately, teams in the race could be salivating. 3.25 million is not a lot of money for a big-market club. Fujinami’s recent four-game shutout streak has put him in a different position in about two months.카지노

He’s gone from being labeled “one of the worst pitchers in major league baseball” and “a huge signing bust” by Japanese sports publication Ronspo on June 6, to being on the verge of being released, to being seen as a trade bargain. He’s expensive for his team, but cheap for teams looking to bolster their rotation. Keep an eye on the moves surrounding Fujinami through the trade deadline.”

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