As reported by Pirates Prospects Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang, formerly of the Softbank Hawks, a member of the Japanese Pacific League. Yang will be invited to spring training on a minor league deal. The team has yet to announce the signing, although Yang is reportedly already attending practice at Pirate City in Bradenton, FL.
Yang, of Taiwanese decent, pitched in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic for Chinese Taipei. During last year's classic, Yang allowed five runs and five hits in 4.1 innings. He was injured for the majority of 2013, and the Hawks released him in October, allowing him to seek a deal with a major league team.
During the 2012 season, Yang put up excellent numbers with the Hawks. Over the course of nine games, seven of which were starts, Yang maintained a sparkling 1.48 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched while striking out 45. His 0.984 whip from that season is fantastic for any level of baseball. Overall, in parts of five seasons with the Hawks, Yang leaves Japan with a career 3.08 ERA in 90.2 innings pitched. Of the 38 games he appeared in, he started 12 and finished seven. One would expect that Yang is making a push to be apart of the Pirates bullpen, but will most likely begin the season with Triple-A Indianapolis if he chooses to remain in the organization.
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