Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
Shintaro Fujinami made the kind of debut we might expect yesterday, flashing high heat but struggling with command at times, particularly in the second inning. Matt Kawahara at the San Francisco Chronicle noted that the former Hanshin Tiger touched 98 mph with his fastball and 92 mph with his splitter. He struck out three, walked an equal number, and worked out of a no outs, bases loaded jam in the second inning to escape with a brief but scoreless appearance.
Kawahara also gathered impressions on Fujinami from opposing Angels batters.
“Throws hard, good heater,” remarked Angels first baseman Jake Lamb. “Worked a little quick out of the stretch.”
Third baseman Luis Rengifo echoed Lamb in saying that Fujinami was “quick to home plate.” He also remarked on the wide variety of breaking pitches employed, apparently more so in the second inning when control problems manifested.
Designated hitter Trey Cabbage had plenty of takes on Fujinami—four, in fact, in the base on balls he drew in as many pitches to load the bases in the second inning.
Center fielder Aaron Whitefield came to bat next and struck out looking on a full count slider to help Fujinami turn things around and induce a double play grounder from the next batter, shortstop Livian Soto to end the second inning.
Whitefield remarked that Fujinami’s slider had a lot of movement, but that the A’s new righty also demonstrated impressive control with the pitch.
And how did Fujinami feel about the appearance?
Check out Kawahara’s full story for more impressions from A’s manager Mark Kotsay, pitching coach Scott Emerson, and fellow former Japan Leaguer Shohei Ohtani. And let us know what you thought of Fujinami’s debut in the comments below!
- Toster: Fuji matches Ohtani in first duel, A’s fall short
- Willis: Oakland A’s Community Prospect List No. 17
- Kawahara: A’s Shintaro Fujinami flashes velocity, flirts with danger in Cactus League debut ($)
- Kawahara: A’s prospect Jordan Diaz lighter, feeling ‘great’ in quest for infield role ($)
- Brazil: Fujinami feels like a rookie ahead of spring debut vs. Ohtani
MLB News & Interest:
- McDonald: Padres Extend Manny Machado Through 2033
- Drellich: Are Rob Manfred and the owners really gearing up for a salary cap push? ($)
- McDonald: Marlins Notes: Puk, Scott, Nance, Brazoban, Gurriel
- Adams: Gavin Lux Will Miss 2023 Season Due To Torn ACL
- Adams: Tyler Glasnow Out Six To Eight Weeks With Oblique Strain
- The Athletic: Which players from each MLB team are likeliest to outperform their fantasy draft ranking? ($)
- Kleinschmidt: Mets’ Mark Canha to write book featuring love for food
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Jake Fishman might be the one to stand in for an injured Kirby Snead.
Keep an eye on non-roster invitee LHP Jake Fishman as a possible replacement for LHP Kirby Snead, who's sidelined with a shoulder strain, on the left side of the A's bullpen. Fishman had a 2.25 ERA & 54 Ks in 56 IP at AAA in 2022 and appeared in 11 games for the Marlins last year— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) March 1, 2023
Realistically, we should expect to see this happen at some point this season. But hopefully not.
Shohei Ohtani once hit a dinger against Shintaro Fujinami in Japan’s famed Koshien high school baseball tourney— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) February 28, 2023
They’ll face each other in Fuji’s Cactus League debut today pic.twitter.com/5rn0hsKrO4
You can get a Canha corn in every single one of them.
Mark Canha tells ESPN he's writing a book: Ultimate Guide to Food in Major League Cities— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) February 28, 2023
Laureano scratched from yesterday’s game.
Ramón Laureano was removed from today’s lineup as a precaution due to left groin tightness.— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) February 28, 2023
I think he meant “tormentor,” but yeah!