Yusei Kikuchi is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays in Japan.
He formerly played in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners and Nippon Professional Baseball for the Saitama Seibu Lions.
The abbreviated season caused by the COVID-19 epidemic limited him to just nine starts in 2020. He had a 2-4 record and a 5.17 ERA.
His strikeout rate increased from 116 in 161 2/3 innings to 47 in 47 innings, and his hit rate decreased from 10.9 to 7.9.
In a start against the Houston Astros on April 29, 2021, he flirted with a no-hitter. On his route to a 1-0 victory, he did not allow a hit until one out in the seventh inning, then pitched the rest of the inning without allowing any further damage.
This was the start of an outstanding first half, which saw him earn his first trip to the All-Star Game.
In 29 starts, he finished 7-9, 4.41 with 163 strikeouts in 157 innings, but his first and second halves were drastically different: 6-4, 3.48 before the break and 1-5, 5.98 after.
This was particularly troubling because the Mariners were in contention for a postseason berth until the very last day of the season, and he provided almost no value in the final weeks.
How Much Does Yusei Kikuchi Make?
Yusei Kikuchi earns a salary of $12,000,000 a year on average. Kikuchi will be paid a basic salary of $16,000,000 in 2022.