Akinori Otsuka

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Akinori Otsuka
AkinoriOtsuka.jpg
Shinano Grandserows – No. 11
Pitcher
Born: (1972-01-13) January 13, 1972 (age 42)
Chiba, Japan
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 6, 2004 for the San Diego Padres
Last MLB appearance
July 1, 2007 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
Win–loss record 13–15
Earned run average 2.44
Strikeouts 217
Saves 39
Teams
Akinori Otsuka
Medal record
Competitor for  Japan
Men’s Baseball
World Baseball Classic
Gold 2006 San Diego Team

Akinori Otsuka (大塚 晶則 Ōtsuka Akinori?) (born January 13, 1972 in Chiba, Japan) is a Japanese Baseball Pitcher who plays for the Shinano Grandserows in Japan's Baseball Challenge League. He was formerly the set-up man for the San Diego Padres and the Texas Rangers. He was also the closer for Japan's 2006 World Baseball Classic winning team.

Otsuka throws a low-90's 4-seam fastball (tops out at about 94 mph) that is very straight, along with a hard, late-breaking slider. He employs an unorthodox pitching delivery wherein he lifts his lead leg up very slowly, taps his glove, then fires to home plate, making his pitches look faster coming out of his hand and thus harder to pick up.

Career[edit]

Otsuka came to the United States after several years of pitching in the Japanese League when his former team, the Chunichi Dragons, used the posting system to solicit bids from MLB clubs for the right to negotiate with him. The Padres offered the top bid, and signed him to a three-year contract on December 9, 2003. On January 6, 2006, Otsuka was traded to the Rangers, along with pitcher Adam Eaton and minor league catcher Billy Killian, in exchange for pitcher Chris Young, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and outfielder Terrmel Sledge.

Otsuka took over the role as the closer for the Rangers during the 2006 season, replacing Francisco Cordero, and recorded 32 saves while posting a 2.11 ERA. However, on December 19, 2006, the Rangers announced that newly signed Éric Gagné would take over the closer role in 2007, with Otsuka moving back into a set-up role. On January 13, 2007, T.R. Sullivan reported that, in an interview in Japan, Otsuka said "If there is the team which needs me as a closer, I am going to think about (the trade)".[1] Due to Gagné starting the season on the DL, Otsuka began the 2007 season as the closer. With the trade of Gagne to the Boston Red Sox, Otsuka assumed the closer's role again. However, Otsuka went on the DL after experiencing tighntess in his throwing shoulder. His stand-in was C.J. Wilson. Otsuka was not offered a new contract by the Rangers and became a free agent on December 12, 2007.

On January 10, 2008, Otsuka announced that he would undergo elbow surgery.

Personal life[edit]

Otsuka and his wife, Akemi, have one son, Toranosuke, and one daughter, Hikaru.[2]

Statistics[edit]

Major Leagues (Total as of July 26, 2008)

  • 236 Games
  • 232 Innings pitched
  • 13 Wins
  • 15 Losses
  • 39 Saves
  • 217 Strikeouts
  • 2.44 ERA

Japanese Professional Leagues

  • 305 Games
  • 350.2 Innings pitched
  • 14 Wins
  • 23 Losses
  • 137 Saves
  • 474 Strikeouts
  • 2.39 ERA

Season by Season
Last update: 26 July 2008

Year Team Age GP W L S IP ER K ERA
1997 JapanKintetsu Buffaloes 25 52 4 5 7 82.2 19 127 2.07
1998 JapanKintetsu Buffaloes 26 49 3 2 35 55.1 13 32 2.11
1999 JapanKintetsu Buffaloes 27 25 1 4 6 29.2 9 32 3.95
2000 JapanOsaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 28 39 1 3 24 41.2 11 97 2.38
2001 JapanOsaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 29 48 2 5 26 56 25 82 4.02
2002 JapanOsaka Kintetsu Buffaloes 30 41 2 1 22 42.1 6 54 1.82
2003 JapanChunichi Dragons 31 51 1 3 17 43 10 56 2.09
2004 United StatesSan Diego Padres 32 73 7 2 0 77.3 15 87 1.75
2005 United StatesSan Diego Padres 33 66 2 8 0 62.7 25 60 3.59
2006 United StatesTexas Rangers 34 63 2 4 32 59.7 14 47 2.11
2007 United StatesTexas Rangers 35 34 2 1 4 32.1 9 23 2.51

*Bold = led league

References[edit]

  1. ^ hondohr33@aol.com on January 15, 2007 3:33 PM - Reply. "Thus spoke Akinori « Postcards From Elysian Fields". Trsullivan.mlblogs.com. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  2. ^ "MLB Stats, Bio , Photos, Highlights-MLB". Mlb.mlb.com. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 

External links[edit]