Chien-Fu Yang

From BR Bullpen

Chien-Fu Yang (陽建福) (A-Fu)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 172 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Chien-Fu Yang pitched in the CPBL and Chinese Taipei national team. He is somehow related to Chung-Shou Yang, Sen Yang, Tai-Shan Chang, Cheng-Wei Chang and Chih-Yuan Chen.

Yang was 0-2 with a 1.46 ERA for Taiwan in the 2000 Haarlem Baseball Week, in his national team debut. He was with Taiwan for the 2001 Asian Championship (when they won Gold) and the 2001 Baseball World Cup (9 shutout innings, 1-0). He was again with the team for the 2003 Asian Championship. After completing his military service, Yang was drafted by the Sinon Bulls in the first round of the 2003 CPBL Draft. He began his professional career in 2003, going 7-2 with an amazing 1.42 ERA for the. Yang attended the 2003 CPBL All-Star Game, and he surrendered one run in 2 1/3 innings. In the 2003 Taiwan Series, Yang relieved Wen-Bin Yu in the 8th inning of Game 1 and he pitched 2/3 of a shutout inning. He was named the starter of Game 4, but he gave up 3 runs in 2 1/3 innings, and Jonathan Hurst got the win over him. Yang recorded 2 1/3 shutout innings combined as a reliever in Game 5 and 6, but the Bulls were still beaten by the Brother Elephants in 6 games.

In 2004, the right-hander was 15-6 with a 1.77 ERA. He struck out 163 and allowed 118 hits in 172 2/3 innings. He was second in the CPBL in ERA (.04 behind Ying-Chieh Lin), 2nd in wins (2 behind Hurst) and 2nd in strikeouts (40 behind Lin). He continued his dominance into the 2004 Taiwan Series as he pitched 7 innings with only one run allowed to bear Jose Alberro in Game 1. Yang then started in Game 4, but he 2 runs in 4 1/3 innings and got the loss. He pitched 1 2/3 shutout innings in Game 6, and got the win with 2 shutout innings in Game 7. The Bulls beat the Uni-President Lions, and he was named the Taiwan Series MVP. In the 2004 Olympics, he allowed two runs in three innings of relief work. He relieved Chin-Hui Tsao in the 10th inning of a 3-3 game against Japan and immediately allowed a game-losing sacrifice fly to Michihiro Ogasawara to score the inherited runner from third base.

Yang battled right elbow injury in 2005 and was 2-1 with a 5.93 ERA in his limited appearances for the Bulls. He was the starter of the 2005 Taiwan Series Game 3, and he pitched 8 innings with only 2 runs allowed to outduel Chi-Chia Yang. The Bulls won the title again as they swept the Macoto Cobras. During the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Yang replaced Hong-Chih Kuo in the 7th inning against Japan. He walked Hitoshi Tamura and two wild pitches brought in inherited runner Nobuhiko Matsunaka. He then struck out both Kazuhiro Wada and Takahiro Arai. Ryoji Aikawa flew out to end the inning as Japan won 14-3 behind the mercy rule.

In the 2006 regular season, Chien-Fu bounced back somewhat, going 13-11 with a 4.06 ERA but clearly was not up to his old form. He was 5th in wins (4 behind Si-Yo Wu and En-Yu Lin) and 5th in strikeouts (80 behind Lin). He also attended the 2006 CPBL All-Star Game, and he pitched 2 shutout innings. In the 2006 Intercontinental Cup, Yang was 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA and struck out 17 in 16 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits. He led the Cup in strikeouts. Yang was 7-11 with a save and a 3.68 ERA for Sinon in 2007. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, he was 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA as their second-best hurler, walking only 2 in 18 innings. He allowed one run in six in a win over Japan and shut down Panama before taking a 3-0 loss to South Korea. In the 2007 Asian Championship, Yang allowed four runs in six innings of work in taking the loss against Japan.

Yang was back with Taiwan for the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, helping them win a spot in the 2008 Olympics. He was 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA, allowing 9 hits (all singles) and 3 walks in 14 innings. He shut down a Mexican national team with several former major leaguers and then threw a 4-hit shutout against Australia. Only Steve Green had a lower ERA in the tourney. Yang tied Alexandre Periard, Green, Scott Richmond, Min-han Son, Kwang-hyun Kim and teammate Chien-Ming Chiang for the most wins in the competition; unlike Chiang or Periard, he got his wins against serious competitors rather than bottom-dwellers.

The ace of the Bulls started 2008 with a 4-9 record and 4.98 ERA in the CPBL but was a surprise choice for the Taiwan national team for the 2008 Olympics, presumably due to his past international performance. He was horrible in Beijing, costing Taiwan two games and a chance at the medal round. He was 0-1 with a 14.75 ERA, allowing 8 hits, 12 runs (6 earned) and 3 walks in 3 2/3 IP. He failed to protect a 7-3 Taiwan lead against host China in the 12th inning, allowing a RBI single to Chao Wang, a bases-loaded walk to Lingfeng Sun and a 2-run single to Fenglian Hou; on Hou's hit, Chien-Ming Chang made a throwing error to score the 8th and losing run in a huge upset loss for Taiwan. Despite this poor showing, I-Chung Hong turned to Yang against South Korea; he allowed 7 runs in one inning, capped by a 3-run homer by Young-min Ko. He avoided taking the loss when Taiwan rallied to tie it before dropping the game. Returning to the CPBL, he lost his last five decisions to wrap up the year 4-14 with a 5.32 ERA. He wound up leading the 2008 CPBL in losses.

Yang's woes continued in 2009 with a 3-10, 5.76 campaign. He rebounded and then some in 2010, starting 11-4 with a 2.28 ERA and he attended the 2010 CPBL All-Star Game. He pitched a shutout inning to get a hold. Yang was 4th in ERA (.15 behind Carlos Castillo) and 3rd in wins (3 behind Castillo). In the 2010 Taiwan Series, Yang started in Game 2 and he only allowed an unearned runs in 6 2/3 innings. However, Castillo outdueled him with a completed game, and the Bulls were swept by the Elephants. He made Taiwan's squad for the 2010 Asian Games, on a roster with few CPBL players and composed mainly of Nippon Pro Baseball and minor league hurlers.

The Taitung native slumped to 8-6 with a 6.44 ERA in 2011, and he was 4-9 with a 5.65 ERA in 2012. Yang bounced back in 2013, and he was selected into the 2013 CPBL All-Star Game; he pitched a shutout inning. He was 3-7 with a 3.98 ERA in 2013, and he pitched 2 1/3 innings with an unearned run allowed in 2013 Taiwan Series Game 3. The EDA Rhinos (the Bulls had changed their name) were swept by the Lions. Yang only pitched 8 games in 2014, and he had a 8.59 ERA in 2015.

The Bulls released him after the 2015 season, and Yang went to the Ehime Mandarin Pirates of the Shikoku Island League plus. He was 2-2 with a 2.53 ERA in Japan. Yang then signed with the Uni-President Lions, and he had a 3.98 ERA in 24 games in 2017 with a 1-2 record. He collected his 85th loss on April 28, and he tied Osvaldo Martínez to become the all-time leader in losses in the CPBL (Wei-Lun Pan surpassed him later). Yang's ERA rose to 9.00 in 14 relief outings in 2018,then he announced his retirement. He then coached Taichung Agricultural Senior High School from 2020 to 2021.

Yang has been timed at 94 mph, routinely hitting 90 on the radar gun. He is also noted for his slider.

Overall, Yang was 82-85 with a 4.05 ERA, struck out 843 and pitched 1314 1/3 innings in 15 seasons in the CPBL. As of 2023, he was 7th in wins (66 behind Pan), 2nd in losses (18 behind Pan), 6th in innings (782 behind Pan) and 6th in strikeouts (443 behind Martinez).