Blue Jays: Shun Yamaguchi missed majority of 2017 due to suspension

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 08: A detailed view of officials Major League Baseballs in the dugout prior to the start of the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 8, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 08: A detailed view of officials Major League Baseballs in the dugout prior to the start of the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 8, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays have reportedly reached an agreement pending a physical with Japanese hurler Shun Yamaguchi, however, it appears the pitcher had some off-field issues that resulted in a lengthy suspension in 2017.

The Blue Jays newest pitcher Shun Yamaguchi only tossed 21 innings in 2017 after he was suspended for an alcohol-induced incident on his 30th birthday.

According to the Japan Times,  Yamaguchi cut his pitching hand while out on the town enjoying some birthday beverages. The pitcher then became involved in a confrontation with a security guard where it is alleged he pushed the guard into a desk and damaged a door.

It does appear like Yamaguchi did the right thing and took ownership of his actions afterward stating:

"“I did it. I was drunk at the time. I am truly sorry for having caused such a situation through my bad behavior.”"

All things considered, it appears the incident was a one-off and Yamaguchi has been a model citizen ever since the unfortunate incident. The 32-year old is attempting to bring his talents to North America for the first time and crack the Blue Jays starting rotation in 2020.

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Last season, Yamaguchi went 16-4 with a 2.78 earned run average while fanning 194 batters in 181 innings of work with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League. The Jays are hopeful the native of Nakatsu, Japan can eat up some innings next season.

The reported two-year/ $6 million dollar pact is the first time the Jays front office has ever dipped into the Pacific Rim to sign a player out of Japan. It is yet to be seen if this latest signing will influence the decision of Korean-born Hyun-Jin Ryu to make his way north of the border as the Jays have been rumoured to be courting Ryu all offseason.

Next. Blue Jays should roll the dice on Taijuan Walker. dark

An interesting sidenote on Yamaguchi is that his father was a professional sumo wrestler who fought in the upper-echelon makuuchi division.

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