Japan’s independent league level, is it far lower than KBO… A temporary slump? What’s the real face of the pitcher?

June 10, 2024 | by

The medical certificate of SSG expat pitcher Roenis Elias, 36, who injured his internal abdominal muscles after warming up before the game, has six weeks on his medical certificate. After agonizing over multiple options, SSG decided to utilize the short-term foreign player system introduced in this year’s league. For now, it decided to leave Elias with a track record and find a player to fill the six-week gap.

There were no players in the minor league. The U.S. independent league was lagging behind, but the situation remained the same. Keisho Shirakawa (23), who was an ace player in the Japanese independent league, was caught on the radar at the time. Shirakawa had not been nominated as a Japanese professional baseball player. He dreamt of becoming a professional player in the independent league. SSG thought that it had the capacity to immediately turn into an athlete. As it did not need to adjust to the time difference, it was possible to immediately deploy players with a visa. Shirakawa also could have had a good showcase ahead of the Japanese pro baseball draft. Their interests were in sync.

Shirakawa played two games in the KBO League. His performance is extremely extreme. At the game against Kiwoom in Gocheok on Sunday, he had three hits, six strikeouts and no run in five innings. He performed well. However, at the game against Lotte in Sajik on Friday, he left the mound after seven hits, three walks and eight runs (seven earned runs) per ⅓, showing extreme slump. Nobody knows what he really looks like.
The SSG’s No. 1 cause is tension. Shirakawa also had a hard time in the first inning against Kiwoom. He has an unfamiliar stage, an unfamiliar mound, and pressure to throw well while using unfamiliar official ball. In fact, it is not easy to endure this pressure as a young player does not have much experience. In fact, he overcame the first inning somehow in the game against Kiwoom, and recovered stability from the second inning. 토토사이트

However, in the match against Lotte, he lost a point in the first inning, and was substituted in the second inning without stabilizing himself. As it was the first time throwing a ball in front of such a large crowd, he couldn’t regain his stamina. Here is the key point. He lost control of his ball speed. As his ball speed was lower than that at the match against Kiwoom, he failed to induce batters to swing and miss. As the fastball was hit hard or cut off, the game naturally became more difficult. Without the power of fastball, it was impossible to maintain the power of forkball, his main weapon. Lotte hitters made a fastball against Sirakawa that was not so fast.

According to a tally by Trackman, which provides tracking data to nine KBO League teams, Shirakawa’s maximum speed with four-seam fastball was 150.3 kilometers per hour and his average speed was 146.3 kilometers per hour at the time of the Kiwoom match on Sunday. The figure was quite competitive in its own right. It was not unreasonable to expect a faster speed when the tension was relieved and the ball hit the hand. At the match against Lotte on Tuesday, however, his maximum speed with fastball was only 146.7 kilometers. The average speed of his ball became the maximum speed of his ball. His average speed of his ball was 142.9 kilometers, 3.4 kilometers lower than that against Kiwoom.


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