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Scouting Masahiro Tanaka

Jan 20, 2014, 9:24 AM EDT

masahiro tanaka getty Getty Images

Ben Badler has a great post over at Baseball America scouting Masahiro Tanaka. He presents Gifs of Tanaka’s three best pitches — his fastball, slider and splitter — and talks to scouts about each of them.

We’ve spent so much time lately thinking about his contract and where he may end up playing that it’s nice to remember that he’s, you know, a pitcher.

  1. cardinalcrazy - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    What’s funny is in each of those GIFs showing his pitches, there was at least one person on base! The one showing his fastball has someone on 2nd and 3rd, with two outs.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:03 AM

      Why is that funny?

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        Because Tanaka was purported to be the most perfect pitcher ever, and the mere hint that a runner would dare reach base before getting picked off (on his way to first, naturally, duh) is preposterously funny.

        I can see how you missed that, COTPO.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Gotcha, guess my brain is fried from the revisionist history in the Chris Carpenter thread, and the rampant stupidity in the Verlander thread.

      • paperlions - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        Obviously those guys were on because of fielding errors or because his stuff is so awesome that his catcher couldn’t corral the pitches on swinging Ks.

      • spudchukar - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        Church, I went back and re-read the Carpenter entry, and for the life of me, I have no idea what you are talking about. What is possibly “revisionist history” in the post?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Oops meant the Wainwright article, not Carpenter. As sad as it is, I always got those two confused.

    • chacochicken - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Perhaps, the guy throws his best stuff with a man on base.

      • dluxxx - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        Kinda like Morris pitched to the score, right?

      • chacochicken - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Some guys throw better from the stretch than the wind up.

  2. braddavery - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    I wonder if Craig informed everyone at the Baseball America article that he reblogged this.

  3. uyf1950 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Does anyone know if Tanaka is still in the states OR has he gone back to Japan and only plans on coming back when a deal has been struck with a team?

    He probably has to make his decision by this Thursday since the deal has to be finalized including his physical by 5pm ET this Friday.

    • gloccamorra - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      He must be back in Japan – there was talk that he’ll make a decision by Tuesday to allow time for the physical. If true, that extra time is for travel to get to the physical.

  4. hildezero - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    I really hope he signs with the D-backs.

  5. yourcubreporter - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I’m convinced…

    Go out and get him, Theo.

  6. gloccamorra - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    The biggest questions are: can those 3 pitches work in the NL/AL the way they did in the JPL, and is the likely performance worth $20-$25 million/year for 6 years? The risk is, the money and years have to be put up before those questions are answered. Who would take such a risk while Barry Zito is still available?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      Who would take such a risk while Barry Zito is still available?


  7. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    can we scout josh “2 win” Johnson next? I want the details on his straight fastball that’s ends up 20 seats behind the right field wall

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