Shota Imanaga Reveled the Secret to Pitching Success with a Game-Changing Fastball

Shota Imanaga's Spring Training Debut: A Promising Start for the Chicago Cubs

by Nouman Rasool
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Shota Imanaga Reveled the Secret to Pitching Success with a Game-Changing Fastball
© Michael Reaves

As the spring training of the Major League Baseball season gathered pace and strength, the Chicago Cubs released another Japanese duo to the Cactus League: Shota Imanaga. Not as well covered as most of the other counterparts, Imanaga was taken under the shadow to eager fans.

Counsell said after the game that he doesn't recall patience in handling Imanaga, but remarked on early spring stress on getting in guys' work, and added he didn't want to emphasize individual performance. Baseball, of course, is played by experienced eyes who know as well as anyone most of the time what actually happens when the real season starts has very little at all to do with the statistics from those games.

Southpaw Imanaga has a problem allowing home runs that has followed him in Japan since college. Relieved to say, upon this performance, Imanaga has far more positives to his credit. Five batters struck out and seemed to have good control on the hill.

Pitch Selection Mastery

Imanaga is essentially a four-seamer; it has pretty outstanding movement, with plenty of induced vertical break. The Cubs work to assist Iimanga towards rejuvenation to be at his best; moreover, they help in that through the latest technology analytics to try and improve the pacing and performance of his pitch.

Iimanga also puts up a slider/splitter, sinker, cutter, and even a curve. The next area focus will be the ‘pitching in’—honing pitch selection and mixing strategy for Imanaga to be that much more effective against a few different batter profiles.

Assessment: That was a debut that did not grab any attention at all, yet surely was of some value in giving insights. Substitution at the same time. As the season progresses, Imanaga’s excitement will only get to pitch with better preparation towards the high expectations riding on his plate. For the Cubbies, this can mean securing a second successful postseason.

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