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.