It’s not too usually that the Oakland Athletics maintain a press convention to introduce a giant signing. It’s additionally fairly uncommon for Scott Boras to be concerned with something the A’s are as much as. Both occurred on Tuesday, because the A’s streamed their press convention to point out their followers Shintaro Fujinami, the brand new Japanese right-hander slated to affix the rotation. GM David Forst even stated “it’s been awhile since we’ve done one of these” throughout his opening remarks.
The signing itself brings a bit of pleasure due to the potential that Shintaro has, particularly if he has actually discovered the command points that plagued him throughout the previous few seasons up till 2022.
As for the press convention itself, the very first thing that stood out was actually Fuji, as he wish to be known as. He is 6-foot-6 and regarded it in comparison with supervisor Mark Kotsay, agent Boras, and Forst.
Fuji’s opening remarks have been made in English.
“Hi, nice to meet you everyone. I’m Shintaro Fujinami. Please call me Fuji, like Mt. Fuji. First of all, I would like to say thank you to my parents. Without their huge support I wouldn’t be standing here right now. Second of all, I wanna thank [the] Hanshin Tigers for ten years of my professional career in Japan. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to pitch against the best hitters in the world. Lastly, I would like to thank [the] Oakland A’s organization, the GM, David, my agent, Scott, and all the staff from Boras Corporation. I promise that I’ll do my best to show you my appreciation through my performance. I’m very excited to play [with the] Oakland A’s and pitch in the best league in the world. Go Oakland A’s!”
The remainder of the press convention Fuji used his interpreter, however the truth that he went on the market and launched himself tells you numerous about him, and the willpower he has. He would later say that he must study the language and the tradition, as a result of he desires to have the ability to talk along with his teammates in order that he can slot in with the crew.
The A’s spent the week that Fuji had been on the town displaying him round just a little bit, and when requested what his favourite sights have been, the one one he talked about particularly was the Coliseum. The guys over at Last Dive Bar could also be in love.
Fuji has additionally obtained some recommendation from a few acquainted names in Yu Darvish and Kenta Maeda, although what knowledge they’ve imparted stays a little bit of a thriller.
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Overall, Shintaro feels assured in controlling all of his pitches, and singled out his fastball and splitter by name–his two handiest pitches final season.
Part of the rationale the A’s landed Fuji is due to their perception in what he did in Japan in 2022, and Forst stated “it was important to him to have a chance to be a starter. We’ve seen him perform in Japan, so I expect he’ll be in the rotation.”
The stories when Fuji signed stated that he was anticipated to be within the rotation, and clearly that’s nonetheless the case, however the A’s GM did seem to go away some room in that assertion for him winding up within the bullpen sooner or later. With the fastball/cut up combo that he has already, he might be an enormous weapon in reduction if the A’s select to make the most of him that manner, however the place he finally ends up on the pitching employees possible comes right down to his efficiency.
Forst additionally stated that he believes the A’s have a deep rotation and that what they lack in expertise, they make up for in expertise, and that Fuji has each.
When it involves going through Shohei Ohtani, “there’s no doubt about it. I’m very excited. We’re the same age. He’s obviously one of the best players in the world. For the Japanese fan, it’ll be very exciting for us to play against each other. He would go back to this a little later, saying that one of the batters he’s most looking forward to facing is Ohtani, along with Seiya Suzuki of the Cubs.
Fuji will be returning to Japan on Wednesday to work on getting his visa, and will be returning to Mesa for training camp a little early to get acclimated before his first spring training, which begins on February 15.
Notes: Forst said that the front office has done most of their work, and that they feel really good about the players they’ve added. There may be one or two smaller things, but the big additions are done.
The GM also said that even with Fuji likely headed to the rotation, A.J. Puk is feeling great and he’s going to come to camp as a starter. “He’s going to return in and compete for a spot within the rotation.”
With the standing of James Kaprielian, who had low season shoulder surgical procedure, and Paul Blackburn, who ended the season on the IL up in the air for now, the A’s may have to lean on some of that starting pitching depth they have early in the season with options like JP Sears, Ken Waldichuk, or Kyle Muller.