Skip to main content

MLB Analyst Breaks Down What Padres Are Getting in Yuki Matsui

San Diego got a steal for their bullpen.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

The San Diego Padres finally made a splash this offseason, signing Japanese reliever Yuki Matsui to a multi-year contract. Matsui has a chance to take over the closer role for San Diego, with former reliever Josh Hader likely to sign elsewhere this winter.

The deal is reportedly four years for Matsui, signaling the Padres' interest in bolstering their bullpen going forward.

Last season in the NPB, Matsui posted an ERA of 1.57 in 59 games. He notched 39 saves in 57.1 innings pitched and had 72 strikeouts to just 13 walks. 

He dominated in the NPB with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, putting up an ERA of 2.40 over 501 games. Matsui became the league's youngest player to reach the 200-save mark and is a five-time All-Star in Japan.

MLB analyst Steve Phillips of MLB Network gave his thoughts on what the Padres are getting in Matsui. He broke down what makes the left-hander special, pitch-wise. 

“For Yuki Matsui, it’s his split. He’s got an outstanding split. He can locate the fastball. He’s got his fair share of swings and misses. Now he walks more than a few.”

He is still 28 years old and has plenty of time to continue growing his game. It'll be interesting to see if the Padres utilize him as a closer, or go with someone like Robert Suarez instead.

In Japan,. Matsui has shown the ability to miss bats. He has a strikeout rate of 31.9%, and his skillset should translate over to the big leagues.