Japan’s best pitcher with a ransom of 440 billion won, his fastball doesn’t work at all

He seemed flawless. He became the first Japanese pro baseball player to win five gold medals (multiple wins, ERA, strikeout, winning percentage, and shutout) for two consecutive years. He also won the Sawamura Prize, the symbol of the best pitcher, three times. As such, he was overwhelmed. Four-seam, two-seam, splitter, cutter and curveball were all among the best. He is 178 centimeters tall, but he pitched his own pitching form to reach 160 kilometers per hour.

That’s how he achieved a new milestone. He signed a 12-year, 325 million-dollar contract with the Dodgers. He has never taken the mound in the Major League Baseball before, breaking the highest ever paid by a pitcher. The New York Yankees and Mets offered the same amount, but Yamamoto chose the “Super Team” Dodgers. Having won the Japanese national team along with Shohei Ohtani at the World Baseball Classic in 2023, Yamamoto appears to now lead the Dodgers with Ohtani.

However, the team started off poorly. It was the case since his big league debut on April 21 at Gocheok Stadium. On the day, Yamamoto allowed five runs in one inning facing the San Diego batters. Since then, he has been struggling again in the recent two games, although he wanted to display the expected performance by allowing no runs in two consecutive games. He allowed three runs in five innings in the game against San Diego on the 13th, and allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings against the Mets on the 20th.

The process is more shocking than the result. Four-seam fastballs with an average speed of 95.3 miles (153.3 kilometers per hour) do not work at all. The hit-to-hit ratio of 0.355. The pitch-to-play ratio reaches 0.710. All are aiming for Yamamoto’s first pitch four-seam. San Diego’s Kim Ha-sung also hit Yamamoto’s first pitch four-seam on the 13th and flew well over the left fence. Something unimaginable in Japan is happening on the highest stage.

There is a clear reason why four-seam is correct. Four-seam revolutions per minute (RPM) does not come out. It averages 2,176 RPM, below the league average. Last year, the ML four-seam RPM average was 2230. He ranks second in this category with 54.4 percent of the ball speed over 95 miles (152.8 kilometers) per hour. Four-seam, which is not threatening even though he throws balls, continues to lead to long balls.

As the four-seam falters, they rely on breaking balls. The four-seam ratio is 37.0%, and the curve and splitter are 28.6% and 27.3%, respectively. Pitching centered on breaking balls cannot be the ultimate answer. The number of pitches increases due to difficulties in preoccupying the ball count. It is impossible to play an average of seven innings as in Japan.

The Dodgers will give special treatment to Yamamoto, considering that he pitched once a week in Japan. He will not take the mound after a four-day rest, and will also take the mound only once after a five-day rest. In the past, Asian pitchers such as Ryu Hyun-jin, Yu Darvish, and Masahiro Tanaka used to take the mound after a four-day rest in the Big League. Despite this, the Dodgers have yet to yield a new result.

Of course, it is too early to say “failure.” The contract period is 12 years. “I can’t help but think about the difference in ball ball ball,” Ron Darling, who won 136 times during his active career and is currently a commentator, said of Yamamoto. “From a pitcher’s point of view, holding a strange ball and throwing it is like a pianist playing a new piano, which has not been tuned. The urgent task is to find an answer to improve the speed of rotation. We need to find an answer to improve the speed of rotation.”

BY: 토토사이트

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