It was a solid debut season for Japanese lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, and it’s now over.
No, it’s not over like Ryan Sweeney’s and Justin Ruggiano’s and Starlin Castro’s (maybe) seasons are over thanks to injury. Wada’s season is over because, well, the season is almost over.
Carrie Muskat reports that Wada’s start last night was his final on the year, as the Cubs will likely give his next time through the rotation – the last time of the year – to Eric Jokisch. Like Wada, Jokisch is a back-end possibility for the Cubs in 2015, so it’s understandable they want to give the fellow lefty at least one start before the end of the year.
Now we see what the Cubs decide to do with Wada’s contractual rights. We recently discussed the $5 million option the Cubs hold on Wada for 2015 (when he will be 34), and the Cubs will have over a month to make that decision – and maybe see if there’s a team or two out there who see value in trading for Wada at that rate. Alternatively, the Cubs could elect to keep Wada a depth, or let him go to see an opportunity elsewhere.
After dominating at AAA Iowa in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery (and first full year in the States), Wada posted a 3.22 ERA, 3.67 FIP, and 3.92 xFIP over 12 big league starts and 64.1 innings. He struck out 19.9% of batters he faced, and walked just 6.8%. His other peripherals suggest that his results were fairly reflective of his actual performance, making his ERA/FIP/xFIP all the more impressive for a guy the Cubs grabbed on a minor league deal.
Wada never looked like, or projected to be, more than a back-end starter for a few years, tops, but he did pitch like he could be that guy. That ain’t nothing. Baseball is hard.
We’ll see what happens.