It’s Sho(w) Time!

Last winter it was a given that the Chicago Cubs were not going to pay Shohei Ohtani $700 million dollars even if he would have come to Chicago for it. So most Cubs fans including myself turned our attentions to Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He of course ended up with the Los Angeles Dodgers too leaving Shota Imanaga as the only other Japanese free agent for the Cubs to go after if they were seriously looking to improve the starting rotation.

With the horrid start to the season that Kyle Hendricks has been having having Shota on the team has made it a bit easier for many Cubs fans to bare the thought of losing Hendricks. Especially when Imanaga has been the talk around the league with an average of 6 Strike Outs Per Game, the league leading Earned Run Average of 0.89, and a 5-0 record.

It is important to note that Hendricks gave up two runs over the last two innings of yesterdays game and many fans, including my fellow writer Gaurav Garg, are calling for him to be thrown on the Injured List or traded. I didn’t say this in my last article but Kyle is not tradeable because of how bad he has been and Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer will not fabricate an injury just to open a roster spot for a minor leaguer. That is a classless move on Kyle’s part. 

Is Imanaga going to replace Hendricks as the number 2 starter behind Justin Steele? Probably not. Eventually that honor will likely be given to Jordan Wicks or Hayden Wesneski, with the other one being the number three starter. However, Imanaga is currently continuing to carry the team, mostly, on his shoulders through a laundry list of pitching injuries that are mostly causing problems out in the bullpen and Hendricks needs to get back on track after starting the season injured.

At the end of the day, Imanaga has proven to be the best of the three Japanese pitchers who were available this past winter. He also appears to be the best of the two who are listed as active pitchers. However, Yamamoto is the youngest of the three and has a couple more years left to prove his rough start in Major League Baseball.

Here’s the thing folks: While Imanaga might be reminding many baseball fans of 1998 when Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters in a single game there is still minimal video for batters to review of him pitching while they are preparing to face him. Therefore, he will come back down to earth and simply be an average pitcher the more he pitches. So, we need to stop going crazy after his great start to the season.

With that… it’s almost time for first pitch in St. Louis.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

 

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