A’s Shintaro Fujinami to make spring training debut against Shohei Ohtani

Feb 24, 2023, 11:30 AM
Pitcher Shintaro Fujinami #17 of Japan throws to first base in the top of the fourth inning during ...
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 10: Pitcher Shintaro Fujinami #17 of Japan throws to first base in the top of the fourth inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool B Game Six between China and Japan at Tokyo Dome on March 10, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

On Thursday, A’s Manager Mark Kotsay announced Shintaro Fujinami will make his Cactus League debut against a familiar name.

Fujinami’s debut is on Tuesday, Feb. 28, against Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels. Kotsay said the matchup wasn’t planned, “it just so happens to coincide with the day Ohtani is pitching.”

“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of excitement about seeing these two,” Kotsay said, adding it’s probably been a while since they’ve been on the field together.

The last time Fujinami and Ohtani were on the same field was back in 2014 when they teamed up to face off against MLB players in the Japan All-Star Series. Kotsay said he expects his pitcher to only play about two innings with a pitch count of around 35 pitches.

Through his translator Issei Kamada, Fujinami said he might get nervous since it’s his first game, but he’s looking forward to facing off against Ohtani.

“I think it’s a rare matchup and I’m pretty sure Japanese fans are looking forward to it,” Fujinami said through an interpreter.

The Oakland A’s signed Shintaro Fujinami to a one-year deal earlier this year. The 28-year-old pitcher joins Oakland after 10 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers where he amassed a 57-54 record with a 3.41 ERA.

You can watch the two Japanese stars face off Tuesday, at 12:05 p.m. PST on the NBC Sports App or MLB.TV.



Logan Webb #62 of the San Francisco Giants delivers a pitch in the third inning against the Colorad...
Joseph Jarosz

Rocklin’s Logan Webb announced as opening day starter for Giants

The San Francisco Giants have announced Logan Webb as the team's opening-day starter against the New York Yankees on March 30.
6 days ago
Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants prepares for a Spring Training exhibition game aga...
Joseph Jarosz

Brandon Crawford out a week for Giants with left knee discomfort

On Monday, the San Francisco Giants placed shortstop Brandon Crawford on the injury report with left knee discomfort. The team announced he is expected to miss at least a week of baseball activities before being evaluated. The team’s website says this is the same knee injury that landed the 36-year-old on the injured list twice […]
6 days ago
The Colorado Rockies practice during the 2023 Colorado Rockies Spring Training at Salt River Fields...
Amiliano Fragoso

How to watch Giants & A’s spring training openers

The Giants & A's kick off Spring Training 2023 in Arizona this weekend. If you're not planning to make the trip, here's how you can catch the games.
24 days ago
Kyle Muller #66 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals ...
Joseph Jarosz

New A’s pitcher Kyle Muller receiving high praise from coaching staff

A's Manager Mark Kotsay said Kyle Muller faced off against hitters from the mound on Wednesday for the first time, saying he looked as good.
25 days ago
Heart Health Park, home of the Sacramento River Cats....
Joseph Jarosz

Sacramento River Cats name Zack Bayrouty as the team’s new voice of the franchise

The Sacramento River Cats have announced Zack Bayrouty as the new voice of the franchise. Bayrouty spent the last 14 seasons with the Stockton Ports.
27 days ago
Matt Olson #28 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates on second base against the Houston Astros during th...
Joseph Jarosz

Report: MLB’s extra-inning, extra-runner rule returning for 2023, beyond

Baseball’s extra-inning, extra-runner rule is returning not just for the 2023 season, but for many seasons to come. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports MLB’s joint competition committee unanimously voted to adopt the rule for the 2023 season and beyond. The rule was first introduced during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020 and approved on a season-by-season basis […]
1 month ago
A’s Shintaro Fujinami to make spring training debut against Shohei Ohtani