On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs introduced that they had reached a tentative deal with Japanese free-agent pitcher Shota Imanaga. The agreement is pending a bodily, which Imanaga will bear on Tuesday in Chicago.
The phrases of the deal have but to be talked about, but it surely is a wonderful addition for the Cubs. Aside from naming Craig Counsell the brand new supervisor for the 2024 season and past, they haven’t made a lot noise this offseason.
Imanaga ought to immediately enhance the group’s rotation. He is coming off the 2 greatest seasons of his profession in Japan, throwing over 140 innings and compiling ERAs below 2.81.
He has no downside conserving opposing hitters from barreling up balls. Imanaga led the NPB in strikeout fee and was the strikeout chief within the Central League. This might be a pleasant change of surroundings for a group that has relied closely on groundball pitchers.
What does Shota Imanaga convey to the Cubs’ rotation?
While not large in dimension, Shota Imanaga makes up for it with his command, pitch repertoire, and motion. He has a number of pitches he can go to in his arsenal, making for a particularly powerful at-bat.
Imanaga throws his fastball more often than not, which sits at 92 mph. He has nice command of the pitch and might harm opposing batters up and down within the zone. He pairs that with his tight slider that he can even mimic as a sweeper.
His splitter is probably going his most intriguing pitch. Given baseballs within the MLB and NPB are completely different, it will likely be fascinating to see how effectively this pitch interprets to the massive leagues. The different pitches he throws are a curveball, cutter, and changeup.
Look for him to behave as one of many Cubs’ aces as they attempt to contend for a World Series title.