Skip to main content

The Chico Outlaws' Girl Pitcher Gimmick

Sprinkled with former big leaguers and career minor leaguers striving to be recognized by a Major League organization, the attention of fans and media, regarding the Golden Baseball League, seems to be focused on the league's 18-year-old female pitcher. Eri Yoshida's knuckleball got her recognized at age 16 and allowed her to become the first female drafted by a Japanese professional baseball team. Just a couple years later, Yoshida is a professional pitcher in North America.

Plenty of hype surrounded the teenager, after she pitched in 11 games last year for the Kobe Cruise 9 and later earned a victory for Yuma in the Arizona Winter League. Yoshida signed with Chico, of the Golden Baseball League, in April this year and made her debut as an Outlaw in May.

Since then, batters in the independent league have figured out Yoshida's deceptive style. In 3 outings from July 23rd-August 1st, Yoshida allowed no fewer than 6 earned runs each time out. Making her first road start for Chico, Yoshida walked 7 batters in 2 1/3 innings in a recent outing against Victoria. The appearance against Victoria, in British Columbia Canada, made Yoshida the first female to pitch professionally in 3 countries.

Despite the rough stretch this summer, Yoshida, nicknamed "The Knuckle Princess", donated the jersey she wore and the bat she used to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, to be included in a "What's Happening Now in Baseball" display. The items share a case with the cap that Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg wore in his Major League debut in June.

Still looking for her first GBL victory, Yoshida, who stands 5-feet-1-inch tall, has posted a 0-3 record with a 12.68 ERA through 7 games with Chico. A starter, Yoshida has lasted 5 innings only once this season. The Outlaws' pitching staff only has 3 pitchers with ERA's over 4.37 and Yoshida's ERA is nearly 5 runs higher than her next closest teammate.

I recently spoke with manager of the Philadelphia Phillies' Single A affiliate, former Major League catcher, Mark Parent, who previously managed the Outlaws, about Chico's lady hurler. Parent wasn't very familiar with Yoshida, but is friends with current Chico manager, Garry Templeton, another former Major Leaguer, and offered up some pity for his pal. "That must be a head ache," Parent said of the circus atmosphere that goes along with having a female pitcher at the professional level.

Many would be hard pressed to not admit Yoshida's presence on the Outlaws pitching staff is not a gimmick to help draw attention to the team and increase attendance. Nettleton Stadium, the Outlaws' home park, was filled nearly to its capacity of 4,200 for Yoshida's debut, which is roughly twice the typical Chico attendance figure. The team and its league are surely receiving more attention because of Yoshida's presence than they have at any other time. No wonder the Outlaws announced 10 days in advance, on Tuesday, that Yoshida is slated to make her next start on August 20th.

Efforts to exploit a situation aside, there's surely nothing wrong with giving someone a chance. However, when a carnival act proves costly by hurting the team's chances of winning and keeps a more deserving player from receiving a chance to shine, perhaps the plug should be pulled on the princess' opportunity.

__________________________________________________

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE.


BallHype: hype it up!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #7 LHP JoJo Romero

JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd With a growing crop of very talented pitching prospects in the Phillies organization, left-hander JoJo Romero is certainly among the standouts. The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game. After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings. In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star. R

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

Diekman a Late Addition to Mesa AFL Roster

On Wednesday, Phillies lefty pitching prospect Jacob Diekman made his Arizona Fall League debut. Diekman, who was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 amateur draft, was assigned to Mesa late, in order to increase his 2010 innings total, according to Mesa hitting coach Mark Parent, who managed Diekman in Lakewood this past season. Diekman, 23, posted a 2-0 record with 1.90 ERA in 21 games with Class A Lakewood before being promoted to High-A Clearwater on June 24th. In 24 games with the Threshers, Diekman went 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA. Combined, Diekman tossed 55 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .187 batting average against at two levels in 2010. However, after not pitching in an official game since he threw a shutout inning to wrap up the Clearwater season on September 5th, Diekman was unable to record an out as all seven batters he faced reached base, six with hits, one on an error. Diekman was charged with 5 earned runs in the outing. Diekman had spent time at instructional ball f