clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Blue Jays Mid-Term Report Cards: Yusei Kikuchi

Toronto Blue Jays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Jays signed Yusei Kikuchi to a three-year $37 million contract this summer.

Kikuchi is a mass of potential, but getting that potential to show up on the mound is the issue.

It doesn’t seem like signing him to a three-year dealt was the best move, at least at the moment. We hoped that Pete Walker would find a way to unlock that potential. And he might, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Standard Pitching
W L ERA G GS GF IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ FIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9
3 5 5.12 16 16 0 65.0 61 43 37 14 41 0 74 6 0 3 295 78 5.81 8.4 1.9 5.7 10.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/20/2022.

Yusei did have an excellent May. 5 starts, with a 2.36 ERA. Batters hit just .177/.269/.260 against hit. We saw why the team signed him. But that didn’t carry over to June (7.17 ERA in 6 starts, batters hit .314/.416/.721).

The worst of it is his walk rate (13.9%, up from 9.3 last year). And he’s giving up more hard contact than last year (41.4%, up from 33.9). A lot of hard contact and a lot of walks is a bad combination.

He’s on the IL now. I’d imagine the team will have him out on a rehab assignment for as long as they are allowed. Let one of the minor league pitching coaches work with him and see if a different voice can help.

It is had to give up on a guy who can throw mid-90s. I’m sure the team won’t be giving up on him this year, but next year he will have to be better, or I can’t imagine the team will keep him around.

Poll

For the first half I’d give Yusei Kikuchi an

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    B+
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    B
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    B-
    (9 votes)
  • 2%
    C+
    (29 votes)
  • 5%
    C
    (58 votes)
  • 12%
    C-
    (126 votes)
  • 11%
    D+
    (117 votes)
  • 18%
    D
    (199 votes)
  • 14%
    D-
    (147 votes)
  • 33%
    F
    (346 votes)
1048 votes total Vote Now