The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan professional baseball announced the contract with former Cleveland Indians Totu Murata in November 18 2016. Murata signed the contract with the Fighters of 1 year and his annual salary is 35 million yen. The Fighters won the Japanese series in 2016 season, and expect Murata as the starting rotation next year, with Shohei Otani. Murata returnes to the Japan proffesional baseball for the first time in seven years.
Toru Murata ’s biography is that he’s the age of 31, and he was born at Osaka. Murata began playing baseball from 10 years old, and he was drafted by the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants in the first round in 2007 npb draft. He contracted with the Giants and he was expected a starting pitcher. But he was playing in the minor league until 3 years, he couldn’t played in the first team at once. So he received a discharge notice during the 2010 off-season.
After that, Murata took part in tryouts in Japan. And the Cleveland Indians has focused on his pitching, he signed the minor league contract with the Indians and played in Single-A in 2011. His stats was 3 wins, 22 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 2.36. In 2012 season, he promoted to the Akron RubberDucks of Double-A and his stats was 3 wins, 23 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 2.66. Murata played in the Akron RubberDucks again next year, His stats was 6 wins, 23 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 4.19. His stats gradually improved.
In 2014 season, Murata promoted to the Columbus Clippers of Triple-A. His stats was 5 wins, 14 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 5.38. The number of a starter was 12. Then Murata was the most active in 2015 season. He played in the Columbus Clippers again and his stats was 15 wins, 27 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 2.90. So he became the pitcher with the most wins in Triple-A. And he promoted to the Major League Baseball at once. Murata played in the Indians on June 28, and allowed 3 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. So he became a losing pitcher. This was the last time for him to go to the mound of MLB. In 2016 season, he played in the Columbus Clippers again and his stats was 9 wins, 33 pitching appearances, and an ERA of 3.78.
Why did Toru Murata transfer to the Fighters of Japan professional baseball? First of all, the pitching staff of the Indians was fullness. Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, Joshua Tomlin and Trevor Bauer were in the starting rotation for the Indians 2016 season, the Indians won the American League. So Murata who is the same starting pitcher has no chance to be promoted. Second, The Fighters had traded the starting pitcher Mitsuo Yoshikawa to the Giants in 2016 off season. Yoshikawa got an ERA leader and MVP in 2012, he was in the starting rotation for the fighters. So the Fighters wanted the starting pitcher and offered to Murata earlier than other Japanese teams.
This youtube’s video is the pitching of Murata in the Indians. He didn’t win at the Tokyo Giants, the Fighters’s fans hope him to win first time in Japan.