In the hopes of trying to bolster their starting pitching rotation this offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made a couple of solid moves this offseason by acquiring left-handed pitchers Marcos Gonzales and Martin Perez. These additions are notable but still not the big splash fans are hoping for. General Manager Ben Cherington has been vocal about the team's need for more starting pitchers, even at this weekend's Pirates Fest event he was emphasizing the importance of building a competitive rotation.
Despite the initial acquisitions, Cherington supposedly remains active in the market, recognizing the necessity for further strengthening the team's pitching depth. It appears that the team could be adding another pitcher sooner rather than later. According to reports from Full-Count, a website that covers the NPB in Japan, the Pirates are currently eyeing a potential addition to their rotation in the form of Naoyuki Uwasawa. The 29-year-old Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) standout is a right-handed pitcher who stands at 6'1''.
Uwasawa's career stats in the NPB reflect a pitcher with a solid track record, boasting a .530 winning percentage over nine seasons. With an impressive 3.19 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.62, Uwasawa has established himself as a reliable and effective pitcher against tough competition in the NPB.
In terms of tools, FanGraphs rates 6 different pitches, with the best pitch being his splitter which is given a 55 grade. The site also projects his cut fastball to be a 55-pitch as well. He also throws a typical fastball that averages about 91 miles per hour, a curveball, and a slider. All three of those pitches are rated as 45s, with his lowest-rated pitch being his changeup at 40.
As the Pittsburgh Pirates continue their offseason maneuvers, Uwasawa could be another new addition to the team's rotation.
According to the article in the tweet above, Uwasawa's decision will be coming up this week, as the posting/bidding window for him is set to shut. While he may not have top-of-the-rotation stuff, he still looks like a pitcher who could definitely upgrade the team's rotation.
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