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Yuji Nishino

From BR Bullpen

Yuji Nishino (西野 勇士)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Yuji Nishino began playing in Nippon Pro Baseball in 2010, although he did not reach the top level, with the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Pacific League in 2013. He had a very good rookie season, going 9-6, 3.80 in 24 games. That year, he became the first taxi squad player to win his first NPB start and received one vote for the 2013 Pacific League Rookie of the Year Award (the award went to Takahiro Norimoto). He became a relief pitcher after that initial season. In 2014, his first season in the new role, he went 1-1, 1.86 in 57 games with 30 saves for Chiba Lotte and followed that with a season of 34 saves in 2015 and 21 more in 2016. He was a big star during that period and took part in the 2014 Nichi-Bei Series as part of the Japanese national team]: on November 15th, he was one of four hurlers to combine on a no-hitter of an All-Star team of MLB players. Takahiro Norimoto started things off, followed by Yuki Nishi and Kazuhisa Makita before he was given the ball to finish the historic 4-0 win. He had previously saved Game 1 of the series for Shohei Ohtani. He also played for "Samurai Japan" in the Global Baseball Match in early 2015. An injury prevented him from taking part in the 2015 Premier 12, however. He played in the 2016 NPB All-Star Game.

He saw his ERA go up significantly after his first four successful top-level seasons, to 5.06 in 5 starts in 2017 and 6.19 in 14 games in 2018 as both seasons were marred by elbow injuries. He spent the majority of those two seasons back in the lower-level Eastern League. He made a comeback in 2019, going 2-3, 2.96 in 37 games at the top level, but then was out of commission due to undergoing Tommy John surgery until 2022. He made a successful return with the Marines, going 3-3, 1.73 in 37 games.

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