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FBW: Japanese imports making an impact

By now, every baseball fan knows Yu Darvish. He’s the new
star from Japan dominating the airwaves throughout the
sport, demanding nearly the attention that Ichiro Suzuki
brought to Seattle in 2001. And why shouldn’t he?

His Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) career 1.99 ERA was
clear evidence that he needed to make the jump to the MLB.
His arrival was deservedly hyped and even though he was
the best of this year’s NPB imports, he was not alone.
Darvish was one of six players that made the jump from
Japan to the USA and one of five who has seen time on the
field so far this year. Although only one of these
additional players should be taking up a spot on your
fantasy roster today, these “rookies” always deserve a
watchful eye.

Most importantly is Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher
Wei-Yin Chen. He is the Melo to Darvish’s LeBron, the RG3
to his Andrew Luck or even the Mac Suzuki to his Hideo
Nomo, except he’s better than the last one and from

Chen is the one to put on your fantasy team and unless
you’re playing with me or some serious baseball nerds like
me, he’s close to guaranteed to be available in your
league. The 97% availability in all of Yahoo! says that
he hasn’t made enough of a blip on the radar to casual
fans but his 2.59 career ERA in Japan has made him the
talented metaphorical sidekick to the aforementioned big
money Japanese starting pitcher.

So far this season Chen has put together two strong starts
for the O’s, striking out six Yankees in a no-decision and
collecting his first win April 17 against the White Sox.
His 10:3 strikeout to walk ratio is strong for a rookie,
but it may start to slip once hitters develop more of a
scouting report for him. He’s in the most unforgiving
division in baseball but as the old saying goes, “good
pitching always beats good hitting,” and Chen has a
history of success.

The Orioles also signed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada who has not
seen any time on the mound yet this season.