Cub’s top offseason target could have a connection to Seiya Suzuki

The Chicago Cubs could use some pitching this offseason — look no further than the Fukuoka Softback Hawks’ NPB hurler Kodai Senga.

An offseason after winning the rights to NPB slugger Seiya Suzuki, Chicago might be able to do the same with Senga, an ace in Japan’s top division.

Suzuki has settled into MLB pretty well by now, but it hasn’t been easy his own struggles. With a .252/.321/.428 slashline, Suzuki’s month-to-month stats reveal the story of a player who started hot but struggled to adapt to minor changes opposing pitchers made to face him.

Cubs: Kodai Senga’s fit makes a lot of sense

A player like Senga would certainly face many of the same challenges. International players often find instant success in MLB but struggle to adapt once scouting catches up.

bleacher nation outlined Senga’s game in her recent article linking him to Chicago:

“This season (2022) Senga has a 2.05 ERA over 16 starts and 105.1 IP. He’s hit a whopping 115 batters (28.1K%) during that stretch while walking just 33 (8.0%), and batters have a very hard time finding grass when putting the ball in play (just 74 hit). But he’s far from a one-hit wonder.”

Senga has been around Japan for years and even has experience batting MLB in the World Baseball Classic. However, if he was to make the leap to the United States, it had to be now – he will be 30 at the start of next season.

As for the Cubs, they need some pitching help behind the likes of Marcus Stroman, who they acquired last year. Senga has been among the top five pitchers in Japan for most of the past decade.

Chicago, perhaps able to recruit him with a dose of familiarity, already has an advantage. Cub’s top offseason target could have a connection to Seiya Suzuki

John Verrall

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