Kikuchi to Debut as Reliever?

» 29 November 2009 » In npb »

Seibu Lion’s manager Hisanobu Watanabe has suggested that his plan for Yusei Kikuchi might be to have the highly-touted lefty start his pro career in middle relief. The Lions already has a starting rotation which consists of 2009 Sawamura Award winner Hideaki Wakui, a proven young starter in Takayuki Kishi, and also former major leaguer Kazuhisa Ishii. Unless Kikuchi shows his ability to be part of the rotation during spring training, the plan, barring injuries, may be that he will start his professional career from the bullpen.

Manager Watanabe also reminded Kikuchi through the media of three points in challenging for a spot in the rotation.

1. Don’t practice too much

This comes from the concern that Kikuchi could overwork himself if he pushed to hard to start the season in the rotation. What the manager and the baseball world really want to see at the start of the spring training is a healthy Yusei Kikuchi.

2. Don’t neglect the fundamentals

Watanabe already gave Kikuchi a practice menu written by the training coach and he believes that building the basis of his body will lead to successful pitching.

3. No special treatment

Ichi-gun on opening day? I have no answer for that. I am not going to put him on the roster because he can just pitch. He needs to show results during spring training.”

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  1. Ryo
    30/11/2009 at 10:15 am Permalink

    Kikuchi needs to start in the minors and build up his stamina, legs, and body core. Even Darvish started his career in the minors. Though Matsuzaka debuted in the rotation from opening day..

  2. Ryo
    30/11/2009 at 10:23 am Permalink

    I agree. He would be better served getting accustomed to the pro regimen in an environment where he can make mistakes. But it must be tempting for Nabe-Q since Kikuchi is already one of the hardest throwing lefties in Japan.