Braves history: Kenshin Kawakami wasn't as bad as you remember

The Atlanta Braves did Kenshin Kawakami dirty. He wasn't as bad as you think.

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Banishment to Mississippi

Kenshin Kawakami
Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals / Ronald C. Modra/GettyImages

In 2011, Kenshin Kawakami threw a perfect game!

Well, at least his MLB 2K11 avatar did, and it won the gamer who used Kawakami $1 million. This might have been the best thing to happen to Kawakami in 2011.

The Japanese native had visa issues getting back into the country during Spring Training and then once he failed to make the team out of Spring Training, the Braves banished him to Mississippi.

Kawakami had expected to go to Gwinnett but the Braves front office said they wanted to keep the Gwinnett rotation open for pitchers who "could have an impact" for the big league club.

The righty struggled with injury and purpose while pitching with the Mississippi Braves and returned to Japan after the season.

After Atlanta

Kawakami ended up playing three more seasons with the Chunichi Dragons. He continued to struggle with injury, starting no more than six games in the three seasons. He retired after the 2014 season.

In retrospect, the Braves' treatment of Kawakami is abhorrent. He was only slightly worse than Derek Lowe, who the team had no issue giving 34 starts a year while he was with the team.

Despite putting up solid numbers, the righty was consistently yanked around with the Braves, and getting sent to Mississippi was embarrassing for the front office.

Kawakami certainly wasn't the ace the Braves hoped they were signing, but he certainly wasn't the dumpster fire they pretended he was.