Yes!!! Does this mean we get Nathan’s dogs at the Jake?
What…you mean there is another Kobayashi? Oh. Never mind.
So who is this guy? Well, he is apparently a relief pitcher, and a darn good one. This is from the Indians’ press release-
Enter the 33-year-old Kobayashi, who spent the last nine seasons with the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Japanese Pacific League and is one of the more accomplished closers in his country’s history. He saved at least 20 games in each of the last seven seasons, and he tallied 227 saves and a 2.79 ERA for his career in Japan.
First off, let me applaud Mark Shapiro for recognizing that the bullpen is a fickle animal. Just because the pen was a strength this year does not guarantee the same results next year. Here are his comments about the signing-
“The signing of Masa Kobayashi marks the first contract ever signed by a Japanese professional baseball player into the Cleveland Indians franchise and, more importantly, accomplishes one of our primary off season goals of adding depth to the back end of our bullpen,” said general manager Mark Shapiro. “Masa has pitched and succeeded at the highest level and on the biggest stage of the Japanese Professional Baseball League. He should be a valuable addition to our bullpen.”
The executive of the year is at it again!