Fujinami "a little nervous" as he joins first-place club

Shintaro Fujinami A's

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Manager Brandon Hyde met with new reliever Shintaro Fujinami this afternoon and shared the club’s expectations for him.  

Nothing too detailed. Nothing about a specific role. Keep it simple and relaxed.

“They said, ‘We’re going to put you in a good spot, so do your best,’” Fujinami said today, sitting next to interpreter Issei Kamada in the visiting dugout at Tropicana Field.

The Orioles want Fujinami to feel comfortable and they’d like to reduce the initial pressure on him, with low-leverage spots if the circumstances allow it.

They rarely do on this club.

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Fujinami joins active roster (plus lineups and notes)

santander and o'hearn @CHC

The Orioles completed their roster move today by welcoming reliever Shintaro Fujinami to the club and optioning Logan Gillaspie to Triple-A Norfolk.

Fujinami was acquired from the Athletics on Wednesday for Triple-A left-hander Easton Lucas. He goes into the bullpen, where Gillaspie sat for two games without pitching.

Fujinami was given No. 14, last worn by infielder Rio Ruiz in 2021.

Alone in first place for the first time since August 2016, the Orioles will try to build on their one-game lead with Kyle Bradish back on the mound and on his own roll.

Bradish has lowered is ERA to 3.05, with no runs allowed in his last two starts over 13 1/3 innings and one run in his last three over 19 1/3. He’s surrendered three runs in his last four starts spanning 26 1/3 innings.

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Pregame notes on Fujinami, important series and more

Shintaro Fujinami

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – New Orioles reliever Shintaro Fujinami is traveling from the West Coast and could report to the club on Friday.

“We’ll see,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’re not quite there yet.”

Fujinami was acquired from the Athletics last night for minor league pitcher Easton Lucas. The Orioles will make a corresponding roster move after he arrives.

Logan Gillaspie was recalled yesterday and could be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. The decision could hinge on tonight’s bullpen usage.

Fujinami is the second Japanese-born player in Orioles history, joining Koji Uehara from 2009-11. He’s the latest plus fastball, plus splitter pitcher to join the bullpen, his four-seamer increasing in velocity and touching triple digits after the Athletics pulled him from the rotation.

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Closing argument on Orioles' deadline desires

Shohei Ohtani

The Orioles don’t need a closer at the trade deadline. And I mention it only to link to the title of this article.

The bullpen must get stronger, and not in the eighth and ninth innings. The club has prioritized middle-to-setup territory to shorten games for its rotation, which led to last night’s acquisition of Japanese right-hander Shintaro Fujinami from the Athletics. A plan steeped in logic.

Fujinami can audition over the 11-12 days or however many times he's told to get warm and pitch. The blazing fastball and the splitter could make him a weapon. The Orioles have a track record in this area. And it's low risk with Fujinami signed only through 2023.

Cole Irvin’s switch back to long relief could pay big dividends, at least judging by the four innings he covered Tuesday night against the Dodgers.

Austin Voth is trying to begin an injury rehab assignment in the Florida Complex League, but his start Tuesday was rained out and the club didn’t play yesterday. He also could provide length with a healthy elbow.

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Orioles acquire pitcher Shintaro Fujinami from Athletics


The Orioles made a move tonight aimed at improving their bullpen.

The team announce that it has acquired right-hander Shintaro Fujinami from the Athletics for minor league pitcher Easton Lucas.

Triple-A Norfolk infielder Josh Lester was designated for assignment to create room for Fujinami on the 40-man roster.

Fujinami, a 29-year-old native of Sakai, Japan, made 34 appearances in his first major league season and posted an 8.57 ERA and 1.662 WHIP in 49 1/3 innings. He walked 30 batters and struck out 51.

Seven of those outings were starts, but the Orioles plan on using him in a relief role.

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