41-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Hideki Okajima in 2017. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Hideki Okajima Contract Information:
Released by the Orioles in March of 2016.
Okajima was released by the Orioles on Thursday, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reports.
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Hideki Okajima Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Hideki Okajima: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Hideki Okajima.
Okajima's effectiveness as a reliever continued to diminish in 2010. His hits and walks per nine innings have crept up while his strikeouts per nine and K/BB have fallen in his four years in the majors since coming over from Japan in 2007. Last year he was removed from the eighth-inning setup role he occupied for the previous three seasons. He can have effective stretches when he's locating the fastball and setting up his offspeed stuff, but that's not occurring as consistently as in 2007. Okajima will probably not be a fantasy factor this season since he will likely be utilized in a specialized role, but he still has a chance to be the team's top left-handed reliever.
While it looks like major league hitters have caught up with Okajima after his highly successful 2007 debut, he still remains a consistent and effective reliever for Boston, posting an aggregate ERA of 2.72 and batting average against of .218 in his three years in the States. He's been a setup man since coming to Boston in 2007, though Okajima is often asked to get more than three outs. He'll return as a seventh- and eighth-inning guy in 2010.
Okajima could not replicate the success of his rookie 2007 season, but he was effective enough to remain a part of Boston's set-up team leading to closer Jonathan Papelbon. In particular, Okajima wasn't able to command his splitter as he did the previous season, which resulted in batters waiting for his less effective offerings, and a penchant for allowing inherited runners to score. He eventually righted himself in the second half, using his curveball as an out pitch and holding batters to a .134 average after the All-Star break. He'll reprise his role in 2009 after his contract option was exercised over the winter.
Okajima was a key component of Boston's bullpen as manager Terry Francona rode him hard all summer. He had a case of tired arm late in the season and struggled in August and September. Getting him more rest this year will be vital. He will resume his role as an eighth-inning reliever.
One of Japan's better left-handed set-up relievers over the past decade. Okajima posted a 2.14 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 55 outings last season (four saves), with a 63-14 K-W ratio in 54.2 innings. It was a career year for Okajima, who closed for just one season over his 11-year career in Japan. He'll serve as a valuable late-inning lefty in Boston's pen, and just as importantly for the Red Sox, he'll be around to help Daisuke Matsuzaka find post-game sushi in outposts such as Kansas City and Cleveland.