Orioles Pitcher Shintaro Fujinami Reflects on Former Athletics Teammate, Shay Langeliers
Shintaro Fujinami, pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, has faced challenges in his debut season in the majors, with the team leading the American League East division despite a subpar 7.53 ERA. His struggles began in April when he faced the Athletics and ended the month with an alarming 13.00 ERA. Shay Langeliers, Fujinami’s former teammate and catcher, reminisced about their time together, saying, “We believed Fuji had no limits.”
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Since April 1st, Fujinami and 25-year-old Langeliers formed a formidable duo on the field, marking Fujinami’s first major league pitching appearance against the Los Angeles Angels. Despite a turbulent third inning in which he conceded 5 hits and 8 runs, Langeliers reflected on that moment, stating, “I managed to get two hits in the first inning. Fuji always had a great spirit, and it was a memorable scene that showcased his personality.”
With a record of 4 losses in 4 games and a disheartening 14.40 ERA, Fujinami was relegated to relief pitching from the 5th game onwards. Reflecting on his transition to a new team and unfamiliar surroundings, Fujinami recognized the challenges he faced, stating, “It was my first time playing here, with a new team and new people. May was tough, with a 10.53 ERA, but I gradually adapted to the environment.”
“I don’t want to say I was overwhelmed (at the beginning), but as time went on, I found my rhythm and pitched like Fuji.”
A Promising Turnaround: 1 Win, 0 Loss, and 1 Save in 19 Games after the Transfer
In June, Fujinami steadily improved his performance, finishing with a record of 1 win, 2 losses, 1 shutout, and an ERA of 4.35. July saw further progress, with his ERA reduced to an impressive 2.93. Despite dwelling at the bottom of the American League West, the team recognized the potential and opted to trade Fujinami to the Orioles before the trade deadline. Since joining the Orioles, he has participated in 19 games, accumulating 1 win, 0 losses, 1 save, and maintaining an ERA of 4.95. Although there have been setbacks, Fujinami has emerged as a key player for a team fighting for the top spot.
“I can’t believe the incredible arsenal I possess. My fastball, slider, and split are exceptional. As my first experience playing in the majors, I had to adjust and learn how to navigate the challenges. It required a lot of effort, but those in the baseball community would agree that Fuji’s potential knows no bounds, and he is destined for greatness.”
In contrast to Fujinami’s current team, the Athletics, whom he departed from, have struggled this season with a disappointing record of 41 wins and 95 losses, accumulating a staggering 54-game deficit. Despite this, they remain optimistic, stating, “It has been a tough year for the team, including many young players, resulting in unfavorable outcomes. However, we have come together as a team, and we are looking forward to returning stronger next year.” Langeliers, Fujinami’s former partner, eagerly anticipates the possibility of facing him in the playoffs someday.
(By Tordai Kawamura / Kodai Kawamura)
Fujinami talks about his partner from the athletics era, Langeliers
Orioles pitcher Shintaro Fujinami has struggled with a team that ranks first in the American League East with a 7.53 ERA so far this season, his first year in the majors. April, which opened with the Athletics, began with a 13.00 ERA. Former catcher Shay Langeliers, who shared the team’s joys and sorrows, said, “We thought Fuji couldn’t see any ceiling.”
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Fujinami and 25-year-old Langeliers formed a battery from April 1st (2nd Japan time) against the home base Angels, their first major pitching. In this game, he suddenly fell into disarray in the third inning, giving up 5 hits and 8 runs, but Langeliers looked back at that time and said, “I scored two hits in the first inning. Fuji was always having fun and it was a scene that showed his personality.” I still remember.
With a record of 4 losses in 4 games and a 14.40 ERA, he was transferred to relief from the 5th game. “This is the first time I’ve played here, new team, new people. In May, I was hit with a 10.53 ERA, but I remember how I gradually got used to the environment.
“I don’t want to say I was overwhelmed (in the beginning), but I got used to it (as time went on). I was able to keep things simple and pitch like Fuji.”
1 win, 0 loss and 1 save in 19 games after the transfer…”I have a great thing”
In June, he gradually improved to 1 win, 2 losses, 1 shutout, a 4.35 ERA, and a 2.93 ERA in July. The team was “running alone” at the bottom of the American League West and was sold before the trade deadline. Fujinami was traded to the Orioles. At Shintenchi, he played in 19 games, 1 win, 0 loss, 1 save, and an ERA of 4.95. There are scenes where he is driven, but he has become a key player in a team fighting for the lead.
“I can’t believe I have amazing stuff. Shocking fastball, slider, split. I think it was my first major, and I had a hard time moving and how to do it. I had to do a lot of things, but people in the baseball world. I think everyone would say that Fuji (his talent) knows no boundaries and is going to be a great player.”
From the 2nd (3rd), the Athletics, which Fujinami has left, have 41 wins and 95 losses and a debt of 54. The result is the worst, but they are already looking forward, saying, “It was a difficult year because the team included young people (the results were not good), but I think we were able to come together as a team. . (Next year) we’ll come back stronger.” ing. His former partner is looking forward to facing Fujinami one day in the playoffs.
(Kawamura Tordai / Kodai Kawamura)
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