15 Facts About Akinori Otsuka


Akinori Otsuka was formerly the set-up man for the San Diego Padres and the Texas Rangers.

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Akinori Otsuka was the closer for Japan's 2006 World Baseball Classic winning team.

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Akinori Otsuka employed an unorthodox pitching delivery wherein he lifted his lead leg up very slowly, tapped his glove, then fired to home plate, making his pitches look faster coming out of his hand and thus harder to pick up.

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Akinori Otsuka came to the United States after several years of pitching in the Japanese League when his former team, the Chunichi Dragons, used the posting system to solicit bids from MLB clubs for the right to negotiate with him.

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Akinori Otsuka made his major league debut April 6,2004 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, earning the loss after giving up a walk-off single to Robin Ventura.

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Akinori Otsuka struck out Paul Lo Duca for his first major league strikeout.

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On January 6,2006, Akinori Otsuka was traded to the Rangers, along with pitcher Adam Eaton and minor league catcher Billy Killian, in exchange for pitcher Chris Young, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and outfielder Terrmel Sledge.

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Akinori Otsuka took over the role as the closer for the Rangers during the 2006 season, replacing Francisco Cordero, and recorded 32 saves while posting a 2.

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On January 13,2007, T R Sullivan reported that, in an interview in Japan, Otsuka said "If there is the team which needs me as a closer, I am going to think about ".

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However, Akinori Otsuka went on the DL after experiencing tightness in his throwing shoulder.

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Akinori Otsuka was not offered a new contract by the Rangers and became a free agent on December 12,2007.

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Akinori Otsuka returned to the Chunichi Dragons on the 3rd of October 2015 as one of the second team pitching coaches.

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In 2016, with first team pitching coach Shinichi Kondoh on leave to have hernia surgery, Akinori Otsuka helped lead the first team pitchers in spring camp.

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Akinori Otsuka however returned to working with the second team following Kondoh's return.

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On 26 September, Akinori Otsuka was unveiled as the pitching coach for the U-23 Japanese national team for the 2016 WBSC U-23 World Cup.

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