Kazuhito Tadano

From BR Bullpen


Kazuhito Tadano (多田野 数人)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Kazuhito Tadano pitched in the Major Leagues and Nippon Professional Baseball.

Tadano was a highly touted Japanese pitching prospect, and he was 20-16 with a 1.51 ERA in the Tokyo Big6 Baseball League. He also represented Japan in the 2002 World University Championship, and he fanned 10 and allowed one run in 7 1/3 innings, going 1-0. His 1.23 ERA proved to be the highest on a strong staff which included Daisuke Kato, Hiroshi Kisanuki, Takahiro Mahara and Tsuyoshi Wada. However, his career in Japan was derailed when it became known that he appeared in a gay pornographic video, and no Japanese clubs drafted him. He finally signed with the Cleveland Indians and made a public apology for appearing in the video. He had a solid 1.86 ERA in 31 appearances with the Akron Aeros in 2003, and he also pitched 7 innings for the AAA Buffalo Bisons.

The Tokyo native made his debut on April 27, 2004 against the Chicago White Sox, and he allowed a run in 1 1/3 innings. He ended up having a 4.65 ERA in 14 appearances for the 2004 Indians, and he recorded a 5.44 ERA in 12 games with a 2-4 record for the Bisons. Tadano then went 5-5 with a 4.39 ERA for the Bisons in 2005, and he pitched 4 innings for the 2005 Indians. The Indians traded to the Oakland Athletics for Ramon Alvarado on April 4, 2006. Tadano had a 5.08 ERA in 34 appearances with the Sacramento River Cats in 2006, then he was 5-5 with a 5.20 ERA there in 2007. He also pitched 7 games for the AA Midland RockHounds, and his ERA was 4.14. The Athletics released him after the 2007 season.

Japanese clubs later got over the incident involving the video, as the Nippon Ham Fighters took him in the first round of the 2008 NPB draft when his MLB career ended. He went 7-7 with a 4.78 ERA for the Fighters in 2008. Tadano was an out away from completing a no-hitter on July 10, 2009 against the Chiba Lotte Marines, but Shoitsu Omatsu's single ended his bid. Tadano was 5-5 with a 5.76 ERA in 2009, and he stayed in the NPB Farm Leagues for nearly the entire 2010 season; he only pitched 2 games with the big club. He had a 3.15 ERA in 19 appearances as a full-time reliever in 2011.

Tadano returned to the rotation in 2012, and he was 6-5 with a 3.70 ERA. He relieved Mitsuo Yoshikawa in the 3rd inning of the 2012 Nippon Series Game 5, but he threw a high-and-inside pitch to Ken Kato in the 4th inning. Umpire Masao Yanada ruled it a hit-by-pitch and ejected Tadano. However, it was revealed that Tadano didn't hit Kato after review, but the result couldn't change. Tadano was the first pitcher to be ejected in a Nippon Series, and the second player, after C Koji Okamura in 1962. Tadano only pitched 4 games in 2013, then his ERA was 5.06 in 5 games in 2014. He was released after the 2014 season, and he joined the Ishikawa Million Stars of the Baseball Challenge League. Tadano announced his retirement in 2017, and he coached the Fighters in 2022 then became a scout in 2023.

Tadano's repertoire included a fastball (peak 95 mph), changeup, curveball and slider. He was best known for having an eephus as his primary pitch which he used to confuse most hitters he faced

Overall, Tadano was 1-1 with a 4.47 ERA in 2 seasons in MLB. He had a 18-20 record with a 4.43 ERA, struck out 187 and pitched 333 1/3 innings in 7 seasons in the NPB.

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