Pat Misch Going to Japan
A former San Francisco Giant I like to keep track of is Pat Misch, a left-handed pitcher with modest stuff indeed, but who has used his ability to pitch as far as it will reasonably go. He has just been released by the Brewers organization to sign a one-year $550,000 contract with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s NPB.
I’m by no means sure that Misch has enough left at age 34 to succeed in NPB, which is better than any league Misch has pitched in since he last pitched in the majors in 2011. He pitched pretty well at AAA New Orleans last year, but was released in July. He then signed to play in the Independent-A Atlantic League, where after only two starts he then moved on to Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League, where he pitched well in what was an extreme hitters’ league in 2015.
What Misch did in Taiwan, however, was throw a no-hitter in the deciding Game 7 of the Taiwan Series, the first time that feat had been accomplished in the 25+ year history of this championship series.
Japanese teams like North American players who have proven they can play in an Asian League, even if, as is the case with the CPBL, it’s not a particularly good league. Misch, of course, will have to perform well immediately for Orix, or he won’t last long in Japan. I’ll definitely be routing for him.