Major League Baseball announced the final roster for the series against “Samurai Japan”, Japan’s national team. Japanese native Tsuyoshi Wada of the Chicago Cubs was one of the last named to the MLB team that will travel to Japan for the five-game series next week. The series had been played every other year from 1988 to 2006 before a brief hiatus. MLB ois 48-20 in individual games, and 9-1 in the 10 series against Japan.
Wada, 33, recently signed a one-year deal to remain in Chicago next season. He went 4-4 in 13 starts, posting a 3.25 ERA in 69 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 57 while walking 19 while impressing enough for the Cubs to bring him back next season.
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After coming over from Baltimore last season, Wada was impressive at Iowa, going 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA for Triple-A Iowa. He was among the league leaders in the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts with 120 in 113 1/3 innings before being called up.
It’s no secret that the Cubs are going to look to add depth to their pitching staff this offseason, so Wada’s role on the pitching staff remains up in the air. There is always the possibility that, depending on the signings this off-season, if any, Wada could slide into a bullpen role. Wesley Wright is the only established lefty in the bullpen following the trade of James Russell to the Braves at the All-Star break. The other left-handed starter Travis Wood struggled, and is looking to bounce back next season.
With minimal depth in pitching, the Cubs are looking to sign pitcher and have as much depth as possible going into the 2015 season. While it is likely the Cubs will sign at least one of the big name free agents available, there isn’t going to be a drastic overhaul of this pitching staff before Opening Day. For Wada it will be a chance to get some extra work, while also getting a chance to go back home for the off-season.