Should the Brewers consider Shun Yamaguchi for the rotation?

(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /

The Yomiuri Giants are going to post starting pitcher Shun Yamaguchi, and allow him to make the move the United States. Should the Milwaukee Brewers look to work out a deal with him?

Major League teams will be allowed to negotiate with Yomiuri Giants right-hander Shun Yamaguchi as the team has made the decision to post him. This will be the first time in their long history that the Giants have posted a player.

Is he an option for the Milwaukee Brewers starting rotation in 2020, or is he a stay away?

Why is he being posted?

Well, he’s a 32-year old pitcher with 14 years of experience on his resume. He’s also coming off his best season as a professional, so this is a great time for the Giants to post him. However, Yamaguchi reportedly had a posting clause in his contract.

How good was his career in Japan?

How does 16-4 with a 2.78 ERA in 28 games in 2019 sound? Yamaguchi worked 181 innings last year, and managed to strike out 194 while walking 64 and getting tagged for eight homers. It was easily his finest season as a starter, and he was in the running for the Japanese version of the Cy Young award…until the voters decided not to honor anyone this year.

Yamaguchi spent most of his career as a reliever before transitioning to a full-time starting role in 2015. He has 14 years of wear and tear on his arm, but he’s only thrown about 1,000 innings in his career.

He won’t turn 33 until mid-July.

Does he have Major League-level stuff?

Well, he doesn’t light up a radar gun.

His fastball is said to sit in the 90-to-91 MPH range. His best pitch is his splitter, but he also has a slider, curve ball, and a two-seamer in his arsenal.

Why did he only make four starts in 2017?

Yamaguchi struggled to start his 2017 campaign, and then his season took a turn for the worse. He got into a dust up with a security guard after a night of drinking and injured his pitching hand. He was suspended for the rest of the season. This was a one-time incident in Yamaguchi’s career, and hasn’t been an issue since.

Should the Brewers look to add him?

Probably not.

The Milwaukee Brewers need to add an ace, and that’s not Yamaguchi’s profile. The scouting reports indicate that he’s a back-of-the-rotation starter or a reliever. The Brewers have several options to fill that role and they won’t have to pay the posting fee and negotiate a contract with the in-house options.

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Yamaguchi is another interesting option, but he’s not the type of starter the Brewers need to add. The Brewers could use an extra bullpen arm or swing man, but they might want to go with a name they know like Jordan Lyles or Wade Miley before looking to spend on Yamaguchi.