Yoshinobu Yamamoto is going to be one of the most highly sought after pitchers this offseason.
Major league teams have been interested in Yamamoto for years. Eight teams were in attendance for his last regular season outing in October, while the Mets and Yankees are considering him a priority this offseason. His arsenal and production shows that he could be a staff ace the moment he comes stateside. Every team would love to have Yamamoto in their rotation.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto having playoff problems
Considering his dominance during the season and impressive arsenal, one has to hunt to find any possible red flags. And yet, one of those red flags is beginning to emerge. Yamamoto was hammered in his most recent playoff appearance, allowing seven runs on ten hits and a walk over his 5.2 innings. While he struck out seven batters and hit 99 MPH on the radar gun, this was also the first time in his career that he had ever allowed seven runs in a game.
That outing continues a somewhat worrying trend in the postseason. Yamamoto has struggled over his last three playoff appearances, allowing a combined 16 earned runs on 24 hits in 16.2 innings. That performance will not go over well in some of the high pressure media markets.
The playoffs should not impact Yamamoto’s market. He is still going to receive an impressive contract in free agency. Teams are going to be battling for his services. He is going to be a long term piece in a contending team’s rotation, someone that can be a difference maker. But there may now be a question of how he can handle pressure. Chances are that there is nothing to worry about but it is a red flag, no matter how small.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto has struggled in his last three playoff appearances. It is small, but it may be a red flag as he eyes the majors.