Hiroki Kuroda
Hiroki Kuroda
44-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  Foreign
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Hiroki Kuroda in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a contract with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in December 2014.
Hiroki Kuroda: Heading Back To Japan For 2015
PFree Agent  F
December 26, 2014
Kuroda plans to pitch in Hiroshima for the 2015 season, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
Kuroda was on a one-year contract with the Yankees in 2014, and went into the offseason as a free agent. The 39-year-old finished the 2014 season with respectable numbers, posting a 3.71 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 146 strikeouts over 199 innings, but appears to have found no takers at the price he wanted.
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Kuroda was one of the most rock-solid assets the game had to offer after coming over from Japan in 2008. Yeah, his ERA has bounced around a bit, including a 40-point rise in 2014, but that’s just normal variance. In fact, after a 5.28 ERA in April, Kuroda was the mid-3.00s guy we have come to expect with a 3.44 ERA in his final 27 starts. His skills have been so consistent that his FIP fits into a tight band, ranging just 30 points from top to bottom in six of his seven years and even that one outlier (2010) was only 0.60 from his highest FIP (3.86 in 2012). A legitimate concern with players of the age is that the decline can come suddenly and without warning, but it's all moot, as Kuroda decided in December to return to Japan for the 2015 campaign.
Kuroda was brilliant for the first three quarters of the 2013 season, but seemed to hit the wall in his last eight starts, giving up 34 earned runs over his last 46.2 innings. The 38-year-old right-hander was believed to have considered a return to Japan to close out his career, but he instead returned to the Yankees with a one-year deal in December. Expect early-season numbers that look a lot like his final 2013 stats - ERA in the low-to-mid 3.00s, a good WHIP, and a decent strikeout rate - but beware a similar late-season fade given his age.
Kuroda was the rock of the Yankees' pitching staff in 2012, seeing a bump in wins and putting up peripheral numbers right on par with what he did with the Dodgers, even after switching to the tougher league and a very hitter-friendly home park. His middling strikeout totals (averaging 6.8 K/9 for his career) keep Kuroda out of the top tier of fantasy starters, but he's a very solid option as the No. 2 or No. 3 man on a staff. Look for a similar season in 2013 after he re-signed with the Yankees for another year in November.
Kuroda had a solid fourth season for the Dodgers, tossing a career-best 202 innings with a 3.07 ERA, 7.17 K/9IP and 2.18 BB/9IP. As in 2010, his win-loss record fell below .500 (13-16), but that can be laid at the feet of the Dodgers' offense. Kuroda turned 37 this winter, but the expected age-related degradation in his skills has yet to manifest. Kuroda signed a one-year deal with the Yankees. His ERA and WHIP may decline in moving to the AL and going from a pitchers' park to a hitters' park, but he may also get a boost in win totals with the Yankees offense.
Kuroda's third year stateside was his best, as the Japanese hurler posted career-bests in innings (196.1), wins (11), strikeouts (159), and ERA (3.39). Kuroda has also increased his strikeout rate in each of the last two seasons while maintaining a walk rate that continues to hover right around 2.0 per nine innings. Kuroda elected to return to the Dodgers on a one-year, $12 million deal, and all signs point to the 36-year-old having another solid season in LA.
Kuroda finished 8-7 with a 3.76 ERA, but was limited to just 117.1 innings due to oblique, concussion, and neck injuries. A healthy Kuroda has proven himself to be a solid No. 3 starter, and that's what the Dodgers will hope to get in 2010. It's worth noting that his strikeout rate improved during his second season in North America, going from 5.69 K/9IP in 2008 to 6.67 last season. Kuroda should be a viable late-round option even in shallow (12-team mixed) leagues this season.
Kuroda was just 9-10 in his first full year in the U.S. after signing a $35.2 million contract prior to 2008. Kuroda was awful in June and July, posting a 5.91 ERA during that period and missing three weeks with a shoulder injury. After July however, Kuroda was back on his game, posting a 2.39 ERA the rest of the way, including wins in both of his playoff starts. Expect similar numbers in 2009 with hopefully a few more wins.
Kuroda, an extreme groundball pitcher with great control, got a lot of attention from MLB clubs after posting a 13-6, 1.85 mark with Hiroshima in 2006, but he re-signed rather quickly with the Carp. He was then limited by elbow problems in 2007, going 12-8, 3.56 in 26 starts (1.210 WHIP, 123:42 K:BB ratio in 179.2 innings). Still, in a surprising move, he exercised his opt-out clause in October and announced his intent to sign with an MLB team. Kuroda then traveled to the States to get his elbow checked out by Dr. Lewis Yocum, who gave him a clean bill of health. For fantasy purposes, note that you won't get a ton of strikeouts out of Kuroda; since he gets many more ground balls than your average pitcher, his infield defense will impact his ERA a great deal. Kuroda will never be a staff ace in the majors, but depending on where he winds up, he could provide value as a third or fourth starter.
More Fantasy News
PNew York Yankees  F
September 25, 2014
Kuroda pitched eight strong innings against Baltimore on Thursday, but did not factor in the decision. He allowed two runs and three hits, striking out nine.
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PNew York Yankees  F
September 19, 2014
Kuroda turned in a solid 6.2 innings Friday night versus the Blue Jays, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits while collecting seven strikeouts en route to his 11th victory of the season.
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PNew York Yankees  F
September 15, 2014
Kuroda tossed seven strong innings in Sunday night, limiting the Orioles to one run on six hits while striking out five.
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PNew York Yankees  F
September 9, 2014
Kuroda fell to 10-9 on Tuesday, lasting just 3.1 innings and giving up four earned runs on nine hits in a loss to the Rays. He struck out five and didn't issue a walk.
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PNew York Yankees  F
September 3, 2014
Kuroda struck out eight and did not issue a walk, while holding the Red Sox to one run on four hits over seven innings to earn his 10th win of the season Wednesday.
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