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Tigers season - pitching

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Featuring Christopher Amano-Langtree (a.k.a. Christopher)

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Tigers season - pitching

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If anything demonstrated how berefit Tigers were of inspiration and imagination it was their treatment of the pitching. Worthless catching and a pitching coach determined to burn out his pitchers arms caused a meltdown late season. The disappointing thing from the Tigers fan's point of view is that Nakanishi was not dispensed with but return next season. He is already talking about removing the limits from Fujinami and one doesn't have high hopes for the rotation next season. On a related note - Wada's latest musing is that pitchers who bunt win games. You couldn't make this up. Starters first followed by relief.

STARTERS

13. Daiki Enokida
Games: 16, Wins: 4, Losses: 9, ERA: 3.61
Enokida converted to a starter and had a torrid season. For some reason after having been exclusively been paired with Fujii he was paired with Hidaka probably to give the latter something to do. After some initial success the partnership deteriorated and the performances were terrible. Enokida never quite recovered from the blow to his confidence and even when restored to pitching to Fujii didn't prosper.

14. Atsushi Nohmi
Games: 25, Wins: 11, Losses: 7, ERA: 2.69
Nohmi pitched reasonably well over his 25 games with some tiredness and problems with Fujii. He suffered from a diplomatically cut finger towards the end of the season when Fujii was so bad there was no communication between him and his pitcher. He was slated to pitch the third game of the 1st round of the Climax Series and this reportedly caused some anger. As it was Tigers were eliminated in 2 games and Nohmi never got to pitch. He has not commented about the Climax Series at all.

19. Shintaro Fujinami
Games: 24, Wins: 10, Losses: 6, ERA: 2.75
The new 'Golden Boy', Tigers No. 1 draft signing did well in his first season. He mostly pitched within limits and showed some good stuff. Of course, he could have done better but that would have needed better coaching. This was not available but Tigers can be happy with his start.

21. Minoru Iwata
Games: 9, Wins: 2, Losses: 5, ERA: 4.95
Iwata's season was a dead loss. He was mainly paired with Hidaka and this move was a failure. However, Iwata didn't work well with Fujii either and neither catcher was able to bring out the best in him. The problem is Iwata is a bit too unorthodox for the Tigers both catching and coaching and they don't really know how to use him. That being said the likelihood is that his potential will never be realised.

27. Takumi Akiyama
Games: 8, Wins: 0, Losses: 3, ERA: 3.83
Proof that Tigers coaches can't handle their younger pitchers. Akiyama never made any impact and apart from the main rotation the up and coming pitchers looked ill prepared and under supported.

29. Tatsuya Kojima
Games: 3, Wins: 1, Losses: 1, ERA: 7.50
Kojima started nervously and continued in that vein. Komiyama managed to help him pick up his only win of the season but then Kojima went to pieces. He was pulled in his third game when he was well on his way to blowing a big lead and never made a top team appearance again.

46. Naoto Tsuru
Games: 20, Wins: 3, Losses: 1, ERA: 4.93
A surprise starter Tsuru won his first game but then struggled with the catching. He ended up being a bit schizophrenic as he was also used in relief. Tsuru unfortunately is not the fireballer he once was and the conversion to starter was half-hearted. Neither one nor the other it showed in Tsuru's pitching.

54. Randy Messenger
Games: 30, Wins: 12, Losses: 8, ERA: 2.89
Tigers workhorse. Messenger was over pitched terribly including one game where he threw 150 pitches. His pitching was precise when he was healthy but he suffered from location problems due to the over pitching and one wonders whether he will be back next season. There have been mentions that several MLB teams are interested in him and he would do well to return to the more relaxed environment.

55. Jason Standridge
Games: 26, Wins: 8, Losses: 12, ERA: 2.74
Another unlucky season for Standridge who once again pitched very soundly. Good command of the zone but being paired with Fujii most of the time was a problem (though there was that superb game at Tokyo Dome). There is some uncertainty about whether Standridge will be asked back but given the problems Tigers have it should be a no brainer.

59. Akira Iwamoto
Games: 1, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA: 4.50
A perfect illustration of what went wrong - an excellent debut last season with drive and commitment. However, this time Iwamoto only appeared in one game giving up six runs. This was enough for the management to decide that he should not appear in the top team again. An indictment of the coaching staff.

64. Hirokazu Shiranita
Games: 2, Wins: 1, Losses: 0, ERA: 3.38
His first start was good but he looked nervous and this was reflected in his second start though he was removed prematurely. Time will tell whether Tigers coaching staff waste his talent.

RELIEF

12. Ryo Watanabe
Games: 15, Wins: 1, Losses: 0, ERA: 3.77
Watanabe had been a very competent performer the season before so it was a bit of a surprise when he didn't appear until mid season. When he did appear he wasn't the same but it was also clear that the coaches and management didn't know his capabilities. Tigers suffered from his absence in middle relief.

15. Masanori Fujihara
Games: 10, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA: 1.32
He survived and what he was called on to do he did very well. This was pitch when Tigers had a comfortable lead. When challenged he was as shaky as ever. He did not work well with Hidaka but then who did?

16. Yuya Andoh
Games: 58, Wins: 4, Losses: 2, ERA: 2.28
After the disaster of the previous season Andoh reverted to the relief and did quite well. There were the usual Andoh foolishnesses which long time Tigers observers will remember but generally he was reliable and 23 hold points indicates a good intelligent pitching performance. He picked up one save but one hopes that Andoh remains in the relief role. He was truely flaky as a closer.

20. Kazuya Tsutsui
Games: 39, Wins: 4, Losses: 1, ERA: 2.58
Tigers had been talking about using him as closer but apart from one game this did not happen. Another pitcher who had performed well the previous season but for some reason was not used so much this season. The conclusion here and with Watanabe is that the management were too concerned with playing favourites not with putting the best team on the field. Still a very creditable performance.

26. Hiroaki Saiuchi
Games: 5, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA: 5.63
Tried out as a relief pitcher this season. He went five games and despite showing some good stuff didn't really adapt that well to the top team.

28. Shinobu Fukuhara
Games: 50, Wins: 4, Losses: 0, ERA: 1.20
Tigers main closer and also used in relief Fukuhara was an effective pitcher wherever he was used. Sometimes though there were situations he should have been used in which he wasn't though these were due to management obtuseness more than anything else. Used his fastball well and picked up 14 saves and 14 holds - once again it could have been more if he had been properly used. At times he barely got on with Fujii and there seems to be bad blood between the two.

30. Tomoyuki Kubota
Games: 17, Wins: 0, Losses: 2, ERA: 5.57
The big surprise was the return and use of the fading Kubota. This cannot be said to have been a success and can only be attributed to an over-reliance on past glories and paucity of ideas among the coaches and management. Kubota showed flashes of his old ability and placement at times but the trouble was one had to sit through a lot of dross for this and the dross cost runs. His presence in the side was a waste and an indictment of Wada and Nakanishi. He picked up one hold.

34. Yasutomo Kubo
Games: 44, Wins: 3, Losses: 4, ERA: 2.85
Kubo was going to be Tigers closer but this plan proved to be a non-starter. In fact it was an absolute disaster and Kubo despite picking up 6 saves was rapidly dispatched to ni-gun. When he came back he was used in middle relief and was much more effective especially with his ability to go deep. He picked up 11 hold points so he must have been doing something right. The problem was though that Kubo is aging which can be said of all Tigers core relief (Andoh, Tsutsui and Fukuhara as well). Tigers need to develop the young relief pitchers and they are not doing so.

40. Kazuya Takamiya
Games: 1, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA: 27.00
Tigers compensation player for when Hirano returned to Orix; Takamiya played in one game and stunk. Tigers would have been better off retaining Hirano.

43. Ken Nishimura
Games: 3, Wins: 0, Losses: 1, ERA: 27.00
Totally ineffective this season and did not pitch anywhere near as well as was needed.

44. Blaine Boyer
Games: 22, Wins: 3, Losses: 1, ERA: 2.67
Boyer was brought in mid season to beef up the relief and did well. He has a fireball and this was overused by Fujii in particular when some of his junk would have been more effective. Still Boyer was highly effective and of course Nakanishi over pitched him. This led to a complaint from Boyer and that resulted in a punishment demotion to ni-gun but his talents were needed and he was soon back up. After this though Nakanishi was more circumspect in how much he pitched Boyer. Wants to be a starter next season - does he know what he's letting himself in for?

47. Daiki Kiyohara
Games: 3, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA: 4.50
After a year's absence (his debut was in 2011) Kiyohara was brought up to the top team as the management scrabbled desperately for some workable pitching. When he pitched in 2011 it was as a starter but this time was relief. One doesn't seen any improvement and Tigers have told him that he will not be offered a contract for 2014.

56. Ryoma Matsuda
Games: 27, Wins: 1, Losses: 2, ERA: 4.25
Tigers one bright hope of the relief pitching. Matsuda pitched very well in relief with the consequence that he was over used. He too suffered from Fujii and Hidaka's inept calling which one doesn't need in one's tyro year. His slider was particularly effective and on form he had the ability to blow away any lineup he faced. One hopes the Tigers coaches don't ruin this talent like all the others they have done.

62. Yusuke Kawasaki
Games: 1, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA: 9.00
Pitched two innings of relief and was ineffective. He was traded to Seibu for an outfielder Takayama who proved to be ineffective.

63. Kosuke Katoh
Games: 61, Wins: 1, Losses: 2, ERA: 1.97
Katoh was pitched until he dropped basically. He was 100% committed and did tear up if he failed on the mound on occasion. Suffered from both Tigers main catchers idiocy and propensity to call for straight balls down the middle at inappropriate moments. That being said he is one of Tigers best relief pitchers. Picked up one save and 16 holds.

95. Robert Zarate
Games: 2, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA. 5.40
Zarate, who was signed to prevent other teams getting him, was finally let go Tigers realising that he was totally useless as a pitcher. This represents a failure in scouting and optimism triumphing over good sense but that sums up Tigers player selection methods.

97. Yutaka Tamaki
Games: 7, Wins: 0, Losses: 0, ERA: 2.19
Tamaki showed considerable promise even picking up a hold point. Lets hope that Tigers develop this pitcher to replace the aging relief they have at the moment.

The following players will not be offered contracts for the 2014 season; Keisuke Hayashi (98), Daiki Kiyohara (47) and Kosei Fujii (125).
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