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By Raising Matt Cain
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Here Comes the Shun

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The Giants picked up RHP Shun Yamaguchi who was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays after a disastrous 2020 season, his MLB debut. Yamaguchi, who turns 34 in July, logged 14 NPB seasons with the Yokohama BayStars and Yomiuri Giants. He signed a two-year deal with Toronto and they still owe him about three million bucks so it is another, I hate to say it, “low-risk” move by FZ & Co.

Yamaguchi features a splitter/forkball, was primarily a reliever in Japan, and had no starts in 17 appearances with Toronto. I imagine that many Giants fans are tired of the “dumpster-diving” and see this move as just another chunk in the churn. He is of course just another chunk in the churn, but I can’t see a downside. No one in the Giants system is being blocked. If someone pitches well they will get a job with the big club even if a veteran is in front of them. And if they don’t it means the guy in that spot is performing even better. Having hungry, quality arms in the minors is just what you want! Pitching depth is crucial for any team, but particularly crucial for the Giants in the 2021 NL West. Take a look at the Dodgers and the Padres–they have star-studded, talent-rich pitching staffs. The Giants need every tool in the toolbox to compete!

I don’t know yet if this move has roster implications. I’ll update this post when I see the details. I have a feeling the Jays are going to regret this move, at least a little bit. I think this guy will find his footing in MLB and be an effective pitcher. Spring Training keeps getting more interesting!



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