Dodgers interested in pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa

Jeff Gross

The Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in Kyuji Fujikawa, a right-handed free agent reliever out of Japan.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have an interest in Japanese free agent Kyuji Fujikawa, according to the LA Times. The right-handed reliever has a 1.26 ERA in his last eight seasons with the Hanshin Tigers.

At 32 years old, Fujikawa has a fastball in the mid-90s. In 2012 he posted 58 strikeouts in 47-2/3 innings pitched, down slightly after entering the season with career averages of 78 strikeouts and 59 innings per year. Fujikawa has 12 total years playing professional baseball (statistics via Japanese Ball Players).

He pitched in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics, as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He threw four shutout innings in the first two rounds of the 2009 Classic, helping Japan to the Gold Medal.

2012 was a mixed year for the Dodgers bullpen. They finished fourth in the National League with a 3.23 ERA and a fifth-place 23.3 percent strikeout rate. But the Dodgers finished the season eight games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West, and two games out of the two NL Wild Card spots.

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