A $90 million man with a failing defense becomes a half-assed player.

BOS manager “will increase Yoshida’s DH appearances”

In his second year in Major League Baseball (MLB), the “$90 million man” Masataka Yoshida (31-Boston Red Sox) is likely to spend more time in the designated hitter role.

“Boston manager Alex Cora said that he plans to increase Yoshida’s playing time as a designated hitter this season,” Japanese media outlet Junichi Sports reported on Tuesday, adding that Yoshida himself expressed bewilderment, saying, ‘I haven’t heard anything about it.

Yoshida, who joined the Orix Buffaloes in the first round of the 2015 NPB Rookie Draft, made his first-team debut in 2016 and dominated the Japanese scene, batting .327 (884 hits in 2,703 at-bats) with 133 home runs, 467 RBIs and an OPS of .960 in 762 games over seven seasons through 2022. Declaring his MLB ambitions after the 2022 season, Yoshida made a splash in the U.S. by signing a massive five-year, $90 million contract with Boston.

Yoshida had a solid rookie season last year, batting .289 (155-for-537) with 15 home runs, 72 RBIs and a .783 OPS in 140 games. At one point during the season, Yoshida was in the conversation for batting title and Rookie of the Year honors, and while his pace slowed down at the end of the season, he still managed to make some progress at the plate, finishing fifth in the American League (AL) in batting average and hitting double-digit home runs for the first time since his rookie year.

His defense, however, was close to failing grade. Even in NPB, Yoshida was criticized for his defensive weaknesses, although they were not highlighted as much as his outstanding hitting. Those weaknesses became more noticeable in MLB.

In 87 games (84 starts) and 713⅓ innings in left field last year, Yoshida had three errors and a .977 fielding percentage. Yoshida’s Defensive Run Saved (DRS) per FanGraphs.com was -4, which ranked last among 16 AL lefties (over 400 innings). His Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), another defensive value metric, was -2.3, which ranked 14th among AL lefties. Despite the relatively low defensive importance of the left field position, he was hurting the team.

“We don’t know exactly what position Yoshida will play or how many games he’ll play, and he’s not a natural designated hitter,” Boston manager Cora 카지노 said, according to local media outlet The Republican, “but he’ll get the most at-bats as a designated hitter among our players.”

NESN, a Boston-area outlet, reported that “MLB’s long regular-season schedule has protected Yoshida. His batting average was .316 in the first half of the season, compared to .254 in the second half.” “The switch to the designated hitter will be a positive for Yoshida, as it will allow him to get a steady amount of at-bats and keep him in good shape,” said NESN.

Meanwhile, when asked if he had been told that he would be playing more at-bats as a designated hitter this season, Yoshida said, “I haven’t been told anything in particular,” according to Jyunichi Sports, “I was told to prepare well defensively, but I wasn’t told that I would play mostly as a designated hitter. I think it depends on the situation at the time,” he said, expressing confusion.

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