Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 10/6/11

The closer Kazuhiro Sasaki is from Sendai City, Japan and played college baseball at Tohoku Fukushi University. He ended up being the 7th overall pick of the 1989 draft in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. He played for the Yokohama Taiyo Whales and the Yokohama BayStars from 1990-1999 and 2004-2005. Sasaki dominated with his dropping split-fingered fastball, followed by his 4 seamer in the low 90′s. In 1997 Sasaki had a .90 ERA and 38 saves. And he followed that year with a .64 ERA and 45 saves. He was big league ready.

Sasaki joined the Mariners in 2000. Seattle’s bullpen ran deep with Jeff Nelson, Arthur Rhodes, and Jose Mesa. In 2000 Sasaki took over at closer for Jose Mesa, and  Kazuhiro went 2-5 with a 3.16 ERA and 37 saves which was a record for a rookie at the time (Neftali Perez had a 40 save rookie season in 2010). His stats earned him 2000 AL Rookie Of The Year honors. In 2001 the 6-4 220 closer became an All-Star and tied his career high with 45 saves (set career high for MLB).

In 2002 Sasaki was selected to the All Star Team again, and set an MLB career high with a 2.52 ERA, he also had 27 saves. In 2003 he struggled and only had 10 saves. The next year he opted out of his contract to play in Japan again (he was going to get 8 mil that year). Sasaki went back to the BayStars and retired in 2005.

His career Japan stats are 627 2/3 IP with 43-38 record ,252 saves, 851 K’s, and a 2.41 ERA. In his MLB career he threw 223 1/3 innings with a 7-16 record, 129 saves,  242 K’s, and a 3.14 ERA.

In the MLB he made around 13 million.

But if you don’t remember him from MLB you might recognize him from Iron Chef when he was a guest judge (no joke).

-Schotz

P.S

Can Yu Darvish come to the MLB already?!?

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker