Shohei Ohtani is preparing to play in the opening game

Shohei Ohtani (LA Dodgers) is in Seoul with his wife. He is preparing to play in the opening game. However, the situation of the “rival” that challenged the major leagues last year is depressing.

“Shintaro Fujinami (New York Mets) will open the season in the minor leagues,” local media including the New York Post and Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday.

He is the same age as Ohtani, born in 1994. He formed a rivalry with Ohtani in the Japanese league with a fastball that exceeded 150 kilometers.

After reaching the majors, he got even faster. Last year, his fastball averaged 98.4 mph (158.4 km/h), according to Statcast, 안전놀이터 a major league statistics site. That’s a phenomenal velocity that has earned him the nickname “The Otani Rival,” even though he was primarily a bullpen player, starting only seven of the 64 games he appeared in last year.

But it’s not just his fastball. Last year, he went 7-8 with a 7.18 ERA in 79 innings pitched. His strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) were 1.13, while his WHIP (hits + walks allowed per nine innings) was 1.49.

This dropped him from the starting rotation to the bullpen,

But even there, he didn’t seem to have a place in the majors. After spending last year with the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles, Fujinami signed a one-year, $33.5 million deal with the Mets this year.

However, Fujinami’s contract does not have a major league option. In this year’s exhibition season, he appeared in four games, going 1-0 with one loss, two holds, and 2⅔ innings pitched, and struggled with a 13.50 ERA. His worst outing came against the Washington Nationals on April 16, when he allowed three runs on three hits and a walk without recording an out.

With no major league options, Fujinami will likely start the season in the minors, according to local media outlets. Instead, the Mets’ final bullpen spot is expected to go to Yohan Ramirez.

Ohtani, on the other hand, has won two unanimous season MVP awards since arriving in the U.S. and will be remembered as one of the best “idoryu” hitters in Major League Baseball history. After undergoing elbow surgery last year, he is playing exclusively as a catcher this year, 메이저사이트but has made a quicker-than-expected recovery and will start the Seoul Series (opening against the San Diego Padres) a week earlier than the rest of the team. In many ways, the two have contrasting paths.

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