The No. 1 and No. 2 all-time wins leaders in Asian major league baseball move on, but the No. 3 remains a mystery.
Genta Maeda (35, Minnesota Twins) started against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 24 (ET) at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks with six strikeouts in five innings. He did not record a win.
Maeda is finally entering the final season of his eight-year, $25 million slave contract. He’s a free agent again after this season, and he’s had some recent health issues. First, he underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2021, which wiped out his entire 2022 season. This season, he was also sidelined with a triceps injury from April 27 against the New York Yankees until he returned on June 24 against the Detroit Tigers.
In the meantime, his wins clock came to a screeching halt. On August 15, 2021, he won his 59th career game against the Tampa Bay Rays, and then reached 60 wins in his return. It took him a year and 10 months. The next two months passed with only two more wins.
His luck hasn’t been good. In five games in July, he went 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA, and in four games in August, he went 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA. Three runs in five innings isn’t bad, but it wasn’t enough to win. It’s not easy in the majors with a fastball in the low 90s and a slower slider and splitter. It’s a complete timing battle. He’s not a borderline pitcher, as evidenced by his career ERA in the low 3s.
Top 10 Most Wins by an Asian Major League Pitcher
Park Chan-ho/Korea/124 wins, 98 losses, 4.36 ERA/1993 innings pitched
Hideo Nomo/Japan/123 wins, 109 losses, 4.24 ERA/1976⅓ innings
Darvish Yu/JP/103 wins, 84 losses, 3.57 ERA/1620⅓ innings
Hideki Kuroda/JP/79 wins, 79 losses, 3.45 ERA, 1319 innings pitched
Masahiro Tanaka/Japan/78 wins, 46 losses, 3.74 ERA in 1054⅓ innings
Hisashi Iwakuma/Japan/63-39-3, 3.42 ERA/883⅔ innings pitched
Genta Maeda/Japan/62-48-3, 3.88 ERA, 827⅔ innings pitched
In any case, Maeda won 10 games in 2019 before adding 15 more over the next four years. His 62 career wins are tied for third most by an active Asian major leaguer and ninth most by an Asian major leaguer. He was unable to threaten Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays, 77 wins), who took a year and two months off. Ryu recently returned and added two more wins to start the clock ticking again.카지노
The most wins by an active Asian major leaguer is Darvish Yu (San Diego Padres) with 103. Yu accumulated 16 wins last year and has slowed down a bit this year with eight. Still, he signed a six-year, $108 million extension this year, so he’s guaranteed to be around until 2028. It’s only a matter of time before he surpasses Park Chan-ho as the all-time wins leader in the Asian major leagues.
Ryu and Maeda will enter the 2023-2024 free agent market side by side. Both are 35-36 years old and have a history of injuries. They also have similar pitching styles. Ryu is said to have prioritized staying in the major leagues over returning to Hanwha this winter. Maeda, too, has a good chance of staying in the majors on a one- or two-year deal, as long as he doesn’t get too greedy with the time frame and money.
While Darvish’s future is certain, Ryu and Maeda’s are less certain. It’s time for the major leagues to take their health seriously.