SAN DIEGO -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Tsuyoshi (Tee-oshi) Wada will make his 2015 debut against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night. Here’s what to expect based on last season when he went 4-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 13 starts for the Cubs.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Wada primarily used a three-pitch mix last year, throwing his fastball, slider and changeup with about the same effectiveness. He was a 60 percent fastball pitcher; he threw his slider 20 percent of the time and his changeup just under 20 percent of the time. In the few times he threw his curveball, the opposition got on base 44 percent of the time. Opponents hit between .245 and .255 off his other three pitches.
Last spring Wada looked like anything but a major league pitcher but he got his act together after leaving hitter-friendly Arizona, dominating Triple-A before making his major league debut in early July. His best start may have been his third when he held Colorado to five hits and one run over seven innings. Over his first 10 big league games, he never gave up more than six hits. The Cubs liked enough of what they saw to re-sign him for $4 million.
Wada was sidelined a couple of times early this season, which delayed his debut. But it might come at a perfect time as Travis Wood is struggling. Wada takes his place in the rotation but without a full résumé to fall back on it’s hard to know what kind of success he’ll see over an extended period of time. One scout thought teams would be better against him when seeing him a second and third time but that could be true of any relatively new pitcher. Wada did face the Padres in his second start last season and gave up five runs in four innings.