The ‘former Japanese ace’, which seemed forgotten, is quietly starting a revival.
In the first season, which he faced with great pride, he is giving strength to the team with smooth and near-perfect pitches.
This is the story of Masahiro Tanaka (34. Rakuten),스포츠토토 who was once called the ‘child of God’.
Tanaka, who spent seven years in the major leagues with the New York Yankees from 2014 to 2020, returned to Japanese professional baseball in 2021.
The Japanese archipelago was thrilled with the return of the super ace with the highest reputation and achievements.
However, after his return to Japan, his performance was not good.
In particular, last year, he suffered the most losses in both leagues with an average ERA of 3.31 with 9 wins and 12 losses in 25 games (163 innings).
Tanaka, who received the highest annual salary in Japanese professional baseball at 900 million won (approximately 9.2 billion won), but after the end of last season, a whopping 425 million yen (approximately 4.5 billion won) was cut from 900 million yen to 475 million yen.
He also failed to make the final 30 for the Japan national team for the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which he strongly hoped for.
At the time of his return, the heat of the media, which covered his every move, also cooled down. It is now difficult to find articles.
Tanaka, who was driven to the worst situation like this.
However, he is starting a revival this season. He is slowly regaining his old reputation with near-perfect pitching.
He has started 3 games this season and is 2-1 with a perfect pitching average of 1.02.
In particular, in the Softbank match held at Rakuten Mobile Park on the 13th, he pitched 96 pitches in 5 innings and pitched 7 hits, 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, and no runs, becoming the winning pitcher.
It was a great effort to break the team’s five-game losing streak. It was a game that did its part by overpowering the early momentum and reviving the team atmosphere that had subsided even though it could not last long innings.
It is now difficult to see an overwhelming pitch that used to suppress the opponent with force.
However, he is announcing a resurgence with effective game management skills and batting opponent alcohol. The local evaluation is that the fun of watching has become a little less, but the sense of stability has improved a lot.
Tanaka blew away 4.5 billion won in annual salary. Money is not everything, but he continues to pitch well enough to reach the highest salary again.
At the current pace, it is expected to regain marketability again.