Saturday, October 12, 2013

Takayuki Shinohara

Another player who retired as of the end of the season was Takayuki Shinohara of the Baystars.  It doesn't appear as if the Baystars had any sort of ceremony for him - he played in the minors all season and declined a call up at the end of the season.  He's taken a coaching job with the organization for next season.

Shinohara had a couple really good seasons early in his career but he's battled injuries and ineffectiveness much of the past 10 years.  He was a second round draft pick of the (then) Fukuoka Daiei Hawks in the 1998 draft.  His rookie card was in the 1998 BBM set (#488) but his first Calbee card wasn't until 2000 (#003).

1998 BBM #488

Shinohara had a spectacular season out of the bullpen in 1999, going 14-1 with an ERA of 1.25 and 80 strikeouts in 79.1 innings, helping to lead the Hawks to a Nippon Series championship.  I'm assuming he pulled a Phil Regan-esque "Vulture" act of being on the mound when the Hawks made late inning comebacks.  He made his first All Star team that year (he would also make the 2003 team but I think he was a late replacement for an injured player as he doesn't have a card in BBM's All Star set that year) and lead the league in winning percentage, the only time he would lead the league in any category.

1999 BBM All Stars #A52

2000 BBM #24 ("Readers" error)
2000 Upper Deck Victory #A7 (The 2.60 ERA was his career mark going into 2000)

He appeared in 50+ games in each of his first three seasons before ineffectiveness limited him to only 33 appearances in 2001 (he had a 6.26 ERA that year).  His poor season did not prevent him from being named to the Japanese National Team for the 2001 Baseball World Cup.

2002 BBM Japan National Team #7

It's kind of odd - Shinohara was one of the top relievers for the Hawks from 1998-2003 but it doesn't look like he ever really got an opportunity to close until Rodney Pedraza left the team following the 2002 season.  Shinohara had a career high 10 saves for the Hawks in 2003, second on the team to Matt Skrmetta's 11.  2003 would see the Hawks win the Nippon Series again.  In all, Shinohara would appear in three Nippon Series - winning in 1999 and 2003 and losing in 2000.

2003 BBM Nippon Series #02

Injuries would cost him most of the next two seasons, only making one appearance with the ichi-gun team in 2005.  His workload went back to his 1998-2000 standards in 2006 but dropped off the following two seasons.  He didn't play for the top team at all in 2009 and was released following the season.

2006 BBM Hawks #H007

The Baystars picked him up for the 2010 season.  He had a pretty good 2011 season, appearing in 67 games with an ERA of 1.84 in 44 innings but his ERA jumped to 4.91 in only 22 innings the following year.

2010 BBM 1st Version #191

2012 Calbee #142

His final record was 33-19 in 496 games over 13 seasons, all in relief.  His career ERA was 3.28.

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