From BR Bullpen
Kleber Ojima Tomita (Dawn)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 163 lb.
Kleber Ojima has been one of the best Brazilian pitchers of the early 21st Century, with notable performances in international events and in the professional ranks. His brother Thiago Ojima has also played for Brazil.
In the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, the teenager was 1-1 but with a 8.53 ERA. He pitched for Brazil in the 1999 Pan American Games and 2003 Pan American Games. He was far better in the 2003 Baseball World Cup. Having spent the regular season with Mitsubishi in the Japanese industrial leagues, the Brazilian right-hander was 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA, walking only four in 24 2/3 IP. Perhaps his most impressive showing was in his loss, though. Facing the Cuban national team, which had won every Cup it had played in over the past four decades, Ojima shut them down for 8 innings, striking out eight, and held a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th inning. Brazil was on the verge of knocking out the Cubans in the quarterfinals, depriving them of a Medal. Unfortunately for Ojima, the home team rallied to deprive him of his upset. Yulieski Gourriel opened the frame with a triple and Kendry Morales then hit a long home run to give Cuba the game. Ojima still made the Cup All-Star team.
Ojima then signed with the Macoto Cobras of Taiwan. He posted a 7-6, 2.19 record for a club that otherwise was 36-48. He was 5th in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, .05 behind #4 Wei-Lun Pan. Ojima had the best ERA of any foreign starter in the CPBL that year. Despite his success, he was not brought back for 2005.
Ojima had surgery around this point and returned to his native Brazil to recuperate. He helped the team to the 2005 South American Games title. He had a 1-2-3 inning for Brazil in the 2006 COPABE qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics in his sole appearance of the event. By the 2007 Pan American Games, he pitched 3 perfect innings in relief against Nicaragua to lock up Brazil's only win; Ojima got the save.
Ojima returned briefly for Taiwan in 2007 and was 2-0 with a 5.28 ERA in four games before Macoto released him.