Chicago Cubs right handed reliever Kyuji Fujikawa is only their second Japanese born player to sign with the franchise. The first was outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, but that didn’t play out like most of us Cubs fans thought it would.
Now when I heard that the Cubs were adding a powerful arm like Fujikawa’s to the bullpen, I was pretty excited. I thought he would end up becoming the closer. I’ll admit that I was at the edge of my seat when he made his Major League debut against the Pirates.
Everything looked fine until the team found out that Fujikawa would have to undergo Tommy John Surgery in May, which meant he was out for the remainder of the year. He was limited to only 12 games in his first year with the Cubs, posting a 5.25 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in just 12 innings of work.
So with the surgery behind him, Kyuji is doing everything he can to get himself ready to return to the bullpen in 2014. According to Mark D. Gonzalez on Twitter, the Japanese right handed reliever was able to throw through his second mound session on Thursday without having an issues.
Fujikawa threw 25 pitches in his second mound session this morning, no problems.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 27, 2014
You would have to think that he could have possibly lost a little bit of velocity in his pitches after having this surgery, but only time will tell.
Fujikawa isn’t expected to return to the Cubs until mid-2014. Hopefully he doesn’t suffer any setbacks, because the team could definitely use him this year.