Satoru Kanemura

From BR Bullpen

Satoru Kanemura (The Glass Ace) (金村曉)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 167 lb.

Satoru Kanemura was a three-time All-Star in Nippon Pro Baseball (through 2010).

Kanemura's high school visited the USA when he was a senior. The Seattle Mariners expressed interest but Kanemura turned them down. He was picked by the Nippon Ham Fighters in the first round in 1994. He made his debut with the big club in 1995, allowing 3 hits, 2 walks and 3 runs in 1 1/3 IP. He went 1-4 with a 3.96 ERA and .204 opponent average in 1997. Satoru posted a 8-8, 2.73 record with one save in 1998. He easily led the Pacific League in ERA, .56 ahead of Takashi Ishii and Tomohiro Kuroki, the runner-ups. He made his first PL All-Star team.

In 1999, the right-hander battled injury and went 3-1 with a save and a 2.30 ERA. He reinjured his shoulder in 2000, when he was 9-5 with a 4.00 ERA. The injury history earned him the moniker "The Glass Ace". Kanemura fell to 7-13, 4.89 with a .300 opponent average in 2001. The Miyagi native rebounded to 10-6, 3.17 in 2002, finishing 6th in ERA between Koji Mitsui and Itsuki Shoda.

Kanemura had a 10-8, 4.24 record in 2003 and 13-8, 3.93 in 2004, when he made his second All-Star squad. He got the first Nippon Ham start in their new home, the Sapporo Dome. He finished 9th in the circuit in ERA, was second to Hisashi Iwakuma in wins, was 4th in innings (167 1/3), was second in walks (71, two behind Nagisa Arakaki) and was 10th in strikeouts (114).

Satoru remained solid in 2005 at 13-10, 3.62, making his third All-Star team. He ranked among the leaders in innings (174, 7th), wins (tied with Kazuyuki Hoashi for 7th), losses (tied Kanehisa Arime for 8th), homers allowed (21, 2nd to Naoyuki Shimizu), hits allowed (186, 3rd behind Iwakuma and Jeremy Powell), walks (54, tied with Arakaki for 5th) and runs allowed (6th, tied with Arakaki). He just missed the top 10 in ERA - Powell was 10th at 3.51.

In 2006, the 30-year-old was 9-6 with a 4.48 ERA and .300 opponent average. On April 16, he plunked Julio Zuleta, who charged the mound. Kanemura was injured and missed three weeks. When he was yanked early in his last game of the year, costing him a chance at his 10th win, he ranted about how foreign manager Trey Hillman didn't care about personal goals. For his complaints, Kanemura was fined and suspended for the playoffs. He was brought back for the 2006 Japan Series and started game four. He outdueled Kenichi Nakata of the Chunichi Dragons with five shutout innings to pick up the win; Nippon Ham took the Series for their first Japan Series title ever.

Kanemura struggled in 2007 (5-6, 4.73). He was then traded to the Hanshin Tigers for Yasuhiro Nakamura. He injured his hamstring and missed much of 2008 - he got just eight starts, going 0-5 with a 4.14 ERA and .302 opponent average. He was moved to relief in 2009 and was 1-1 with a 2.76 ERA in 22 outings (2 starts). He allowed six runs in two innings in 2010.

In 271 career NPB games through 2010, Kanemura was 89-81 with two saves and a 3.89 ERA.

Kanemura's repertoire includes a curveball, slider, shuuto, palm ball, forkball and a fastball (which only runs in the 80s).

Sources: Japan Baseball Daily, Chinese Wiki Baseball