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

Oregon headed to first Final Four in 78 years as Jordan Bell & Tyler Dorsey dominate Kansas

This is the Gonzaga we’ve been waiting for

Jets won’t rule out selecting another QB in 2017 NFL Draft

Rougned Odor threw a cup of water into Felix Hernandez’s face on the field

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

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