Where were they then – Shingo Takatsu – 2004

Face it. Unless you had this guy on your team in 2004 there’s no way you remember him until you read this post. Mr. Zero and his sub-60mph “sinker” baffled hitters for exactly one season. Thankfully for me that season included 6 wins and 19 saves to go along with ratios of 2.31/0.98 in 62.1IP.

Shingo’s Barnum and Bailey act only lasted one amazing year. In 2005, MLB hitters found out that Mr. Zero was hardly difficult to hit after all. A mid-season trade from the White Sox to the Mets and spicy tuna roll later Shingo was on his way back to the Japanese Leagues, pitching in All-Star games again apparently.

He attempted a comeback to the Bigs in 2008, signing a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs. But when you can’t supplant Jeff Samardzija in the bullpen it’s time to read the writing on the wall…as long as it’s written in Japanese.

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