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Japanese Born MLB Pitchers: Can you trust them?

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It seems that Yankees fans love to hate Kei Igawa more than they love to hate Sergio Mitre. Igawa, who was signed to a five-year $20 miliion contract, with the $26 million bidders fee, has a career record of 2-4 and a career ERA of 6.66. Igawa used to play for the Hanshin Tigers, where he had outstanding numbers. (86-60 3.14 ERA) So, can you really trust a pitcher out of Japan? Let's take a look.

Japanese pitchers with good numbers in MLB:

-Hideo Nomo (4.24 ERA, two no-hitters)

-Kazuhiro Sasaki (129 saves, 3.14 ERA)

-Akinori Otsuka (2.44 ERA, 39 Saves)

-Hideki Okajima (12-4, 2.72 ERA)

-Daisuke Matsusaka (37-21, 4.00 ERA)

-Hiroki Kuroda (17-17, 3.74 ERA)


Middle of the pack:

-Masato Yoshii (4.62 ERA)

-Tomo Ohka (4.20 ERA)

-Kazuhisa Ishii (4.44 ERA)

Below Average:

Hideki Irabu (34-35, 5.15 ERA)

Kei Igawa (2-4, 6.66 ERA)

Obviously these are not ALL the pitchers that have pitched in the MLB and are from Japan, but it is very interesting how many of the good Japanese pitchers are relievers. Many of the Japanese pitchers that struggled were starters. Also, it seems the Red Sox are much better at judging Japanese talent than the Yankees. Would you take a chance on a "highly-touted" Japanese pitcher in the future?