SAPPORO – The Pacific League champion Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters rewarded middle reliever Hirotoshi Masui on Wednesday with an estimated ¥50 million raise. Masui led both leagues in 2012 with 73 games pitched.
The 28-year-old right-hander was credited with a Japan-high 45 holds, won five games and saved seven this past season, when he earned a reported ¥50 million. On the down side, Masui walked 25 batters and allowed 26 runs in 71⅔ innings and posted a 2.76 ERA.
“It was a successful season in every aspect,” said Masui, the Fighters’ fifth pick in the 2009 draft. “It’s hard to stand out as a middle reliever, and there is a sense that our contributions should be valued a little higher.”