Cubs Will Announce Signing of Kyuji Fujikawa on Friday

The Cubs have added another pitcher, this time in the form of a Japanese free-agent. Kyuji Fujikawa reportedly signed a 2-year $9.5 million deal.

The 32-year old has spent 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers. In the 12 seasons, he has 220 saves and a 1.77 ERA. Based on his numbers, it appears that Fujikawa has been dominant….when he’s pitched. Like most of the pitchers the Cubs have signed this off-season, Fujikawa has had injury issues. He’s averaged about 55 innings pitched in the last four seasons.

The Cubs claim that this isn’t necessarily the signing that ensures Carlos Marmol is on his way out. Remember that the Cubs were close to sending Marmol to the Angels not that long ago. While Fujikawa is a closer, the Cubs are also confident he can fill other roles in the pitching staff.

He has four pitches in his repertoire. He is known for his fast-ball, which has late movement on it, giving it a “hop”. He has grown to rely on his off-speed pitches to avoid fatigue and stress on his arm. These pitches include a forkball and curveball.

Because he has so many pitches, the Cubs aren’t stuck using him in the closer’s role. If the Cubs are able to move Marmol, they have someone to step in. If Marmol is on the Cubs roster, Fujikawa can pitch in any relief role. If he’s healthy, that is.

The Cubs will introduce Fujikawa at a news conference at Wrigley Friday morning at 11:30.

Corey Fineran

Founder and Lead Host at Ivy Envy
A Cubs fan since 1985, Corey has seen (few) highs and (many) lows from the Boys in Blue.When he is not talking about the Cubs on The Ivy Envy Podcast, Corey helps high school students with disabilities become successful in the world of work…or he’s taking care of the chickens.

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7 comments
Ivy Envy
Ivy Envy

Which player/manager would I like to see with the green suit and little balls? Lester Strode. Like you need to ask.

Matt Veto
Matt Veto

I think they should sign Felix Heredia. He never ruined my day. .......

Andrew Round
Andrew Round

I'd like to see Bosio put on the green suit with little balls to record movement. Which player/manager would you like to see?

Michael DeRose
Michael DeRose

Ryan must be new here lol. I think marmol is done. I think the cubs won't get any solid offers until the season gets underway. I don't see Theo & Co. trading him, unless the Cubs get SOMETHING of value. I would like to think they could get a med/high risk pitcher for him. I just pray they get someone that has control. That being said, if the stars align and some Jedi master can teach marmol pitching control, then I would be happy as hell. I honestly think his arm is injured in some fashion. I sent a few hours just watching his throwing arm slot and release point. When he was the Marmol we knew and loved he would release the ball higher, somewhat close to his body, and just behind his head. Now, he whips his arm around wide of his body and releases lower around his head/neck. Oh, and his footwork is different. Old marmol had a long FLUID follow through kick. Shit Marmol has a short jerky leg kick. This matters when it comes to a transfer of force. As many know, I am not a pro pitching coach, but I am studying to be a doctor. He is getting hurt so damn much because of the jerky pitching action and the angle at which he is throwing. His speed and control are down because he is transferring energy to his entire arm, back, torso, legs, and hips. I know the cubs have great doctors, but I have to think that someone with an MD would tell SOMEONE that his new jerky "closed" motion is hurting him and his game. If I had to guess, his wrist is what the problem is. Watch how his hand/wrist hold the ball and release it. He is twisting his wrist as he releases. To so many words, he is taking all of his built up force and sending it from his legs, to his torso, spine, shoulder, elbow, and wrist. When he turns his wrist like that, he is directing ALL of that force towards/across his body. THIS is why I think he throws so many pitches into the dirt and why the moves so much laterally. Lastly, any wrist injury would greatly affect how he holds onto the ball. His ligaments/tendons might just need a rehabilitation program to get them in shape. The best way to describe that is like overused elastic. To much give and you lose force there. To sum up my brief essay, I think the cubs need to hire a pitching coach and/or team of kinesiologists just for Marmol and the other guys that have had control issues or pitching injuries. The Cubs aren't spending a ton of money right now and True Cubs fans will know this season will be bleak. Why not go and spend some cash on this type of thing. Hell in other sports, teams have people put players in green suits with little balls to record movement. ~Rant over... Go Cubs

Ivy Envy
Ivy Envy

Imagine what the Cubs could have got for him if they dealt him 2 or 3 years ago.

Ivy Envy
Ivy Envy

I really don't think the Cubs need a closer. Use Fujikawa and his 3 or 4 pitches and when the Cubs are in a save situation once every 4 or 5 days, let Marmol come out and earn the blown save.