Braves Pitcher Kenshin Kawakami Unhappy With Role as a Reliever


In an interview with David O’Brien that was posted today, Braves pitcher Kenshin Kawakami opens up about his new role and his unhappiness with his current situation. I must admit that there were parts of this story where I didn’t like what Kawakami says. I think though we must consider that Kawakami was speaking through an interpreter and some things may not come across in quite the context that was intended. To make a long story short though Kawakami isn’t happy not being in the rotation and says that no one from the Braves organization has talked with him in recent days about his role or when he might get in a game.

The entire interview can be read by clicking here but here are some highlights:

"Q. Has this been a difficult period for you, to lose your starting-rotation spot and then be used only once out of the bullpen in the past month?A. To not be used, while I’m not even injured or having any problems, it’s kind of difficult to prepare for what’s to come. But the best thing I can do for the team is to always be prepared and to give my best to contribute when I can.Q. But if a starter went down, could you step in and go five innings right now?A. To be honest, I don’t know about my stamina or how my body will feel when that time might come, hopefully not. But I believe that’s my role, to step in if that ever does happen. So [I] always try to be prepared for it."

The last answer is one of the ones that I didn’t like. It is almost like he is saying that if he is called upon that he can’t guarantee what would happen or maybe that is just me reading something into it that I shouldn’t. At the very least I am sure that the Braves would like to admit their mistake in signing Kawakami and trade him away. The problem is that when he was pitching he didn’t pitch well enough to garner any interest and now that he isn’t pitching at all his value is even lower.

I am not sure if I would classify this interview as a complaint or not. Kawakami seems to do enough damage control in saying that the club is winning and he just needs to stay ready. Still typically players that complain in public have not been around long afterwards. The Braves may not have any choice in the matter this time as their is virtually no market for Kawakami.