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#pounditThursday, June 20, 2024

Shota Imanaga has scary comments for opposing hitters

Shota Imanaga delivers a pitch

May 1, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Shota Imanaga (18) pitches against the New York Mets during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Shota Imanaga wants you all to know that this isn’t even his final form yet.

The Chicago Cubs rookie star Imanaga appeared Thursday for an interview on “The Pat McAfee Show.” Imanaga appeared alongside his translator Edwin Stanberry.

During the interview, Imanaga, who has enjoyed a pristine first season in Major League Baseball thus far, made some comments that were enough to send a chill down the spine of opposing hitters.

“If I’m being honest, I’m pretty surprised by the success that I’ve had,” Imanaga said through his translator. “I still have a couple pitches that I haven’t thrown yet, and I’m waiting to pull them out.”

The 30-year-old Imanaga, a two-time All-Star in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), signed with the Cubs on a four-year, $53 million contract this past winter. So far in the 2024 MLB season, Imanaga has been not just one of the best rookie pitchers but one of the very best pitchers in the entire league. He now owns a perfect 5-0 record with a magnificent 0.84 ERA and 58 strikeouts through nine starts (53.1 total innings pitched).

The lefty Imanaga has been achieving his success as he works mainly with a fastball and a splitter as well as a little bit of a slider and a curveball. With Imanaga teasing some yet-to-be-thrown pitches in his arsenal beyond that (forkball? gyroball? eephus???), he has a lot of different ways to keep rival batters off balance. Granted, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for him as he is still struggling to adjust to certain aspects of life in America.

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