Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Tigers sign Satterwhite to help strengthen bullpen

Kyodo

The Central League’s Hanshin Tigers announced the signing of right-hander Cody Satterwhite to a one-year contract believed to be worth ¥32 million on Monday.

Satterwhite, 29, was playing for the Salt Lake Bees, the Los Angeles Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, this season. He has no major league experience, and had pitched in 16 games with a 3-1 record and 1.80 ERA in 2016.

With the second-worst team ERA (3.69) in the Central League this year — despite playing in an excellent pitchers’ park, Hanshin is counting on Satterwhite to bolster its bullpen. He is due to arrive in Japan on Wednesday.

In two seasons at Triple-A level, Satterwhite, whose fastball velocity reportedly exceeds 150 kph, has struck out 8.6 batters per nine innings with a solid 2.51 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

“Because he has adequate control, he doesn’t have big collapses on the mound. He can get strikeouts,” said Eiichi Takano, the Tigers’ head of baseball operations.