Tuesday, 21st March 2023

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When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them

From Tanaka to Otanie Senga. New York Mets general manager involved in recruitment after transferring team, reason why Japan’s best pitcher is sure of success

Billy Eppler (47), general manager of the Major League Baseball New York Mets, has a close relationship with Japanese players, especially pitchers. Through part-time scouting for the Colorado Rockies. He worked as an assistant to general manager Brian Cashman at the New York Yankees, and was involved in the recruitment of a Japanese pitcher at the time. It is Masahiro Tanaka (34) who recorded 24 wins and 1 save and an average ERA of 1.87 in 2013 and led his team, Rakuten Eagles, to their first championship.

Ace Tanaka returned to Rakuten after winning 78 wins (46 losses) in 7 years from 2014 as a member of the New York Yankees.

In December 2017, when Eppler was general manager, the Los Angeles Angels acquired Shohei Ohtani (28) from the Nippon Ham Fighters through the posting system. It was behind the starting point of Ohtani’s ‘double sword style’, in which both pitcher and hitter were involved.

Eppler, who left the Los Angeles Angels in September 2020, is shaking up the major leagues with aggressive player acquisitions after becoming general manager of the New York Mets in November 2021. The relationship with Japanese pitchers continued. This time, it is Softbank Hawk ace Senga Godai (29). He invested $75 million over five years.

The New York Mets are also expecting a third starter following Max Scherzer (38) and Justin Verlander (39), two legends, “one-two punch.”

At Senga’s initiation ceremony held on the 20th 스포츠토토 (Korean time), general manager Eppler said, “I have personally paid attention to him for a long time. The New York Mets have also been trying to scout him for years.” The long wait has led to the recruitment to be.

After the 2017 season, Senga wanted to enter the major leagues through posting, but his team, Softbank, did not allow it. He went on to challenge the major leagues by qualifying as a free agent (FA) that allowed him to go abroad.

Eppler was confident that Senga, like Tanaka and Ohtani, would adapt to the major leagues and succeed. He said Senga would have gained strength and confidence as he gained experience, such as pitching in the Japan Series, and that these assets would help him adapt.

Unlike Nippon Professional Baseball, in the major leagues, five starting pitchers complete the pitching schedule after a four-day break. It is a rotation that a pitcher who pitched as a starter after taking 5 to 6 days off in Japanese professional baseball must adapt. Until you get used to it, it’s bound to be a burden physically.

“I will do my best to help,” Eppler said. He said he would consider giving him more rest days to adapt to the major leagues.

Senga, who joined Softbank in 2010, entered the major leagues for the first time as a foster player. 87 wins, 44 losses, 20 holds, 1 save in 224 games in total – 2.59 ERA, 11 wins and 6 losses in 22 games this season – Average

He recorded a book score of 1.94-156 with strikeouts. He won three Pacific League wins, earned run average, and strikeouts in 2020, and participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC) and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a Japanese representative.

Can Senga, like Tanaka and Ohtani, show that the best players in Nippon Professional Baseball can succeed in the major leagues?