Kazuyoshi Ono

From BR Bullpen

Kazuyoshi Ono (小野 和義)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 165 lbs.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Kazuyoshi Ono played in Nippon Pro Baseball for 14 years.

Ono was drafted by the Kintetsu Buffaloes in the first round of the 1983 NPB draft, and he joined their bullpen as a rookie. He had a 5.29 ERA in 24 games in 1984, and became a starter in 1985. Ono's performance remained about the same, as he recorded a 5.24 ERA in 39 appearances (16 starts) in 1985 season. He pitched well before the All-Star Game break in 1986, collected 10 wins and pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings in the 1986 NPB All-Star Game 2. However, he struggled after the break and ended up 14-11 with a 5.02 ERA. He led the Pacific League in home runs allowed, runs allowed and starts.

The Utsunomiya native improved to 11-10 with a 4.07 ERA in 1987, but still led the PL in homers with 36. He was selected into the 1987 NPB All-Star Game again, and pitched 3 shutout innings with 3 strikeouts in Game 2 to get the win win over Tadashi Sugimoto. Ono had his career year in 1988. He started a league-leading 30 games, had a 10-10 record with a 2.59 ERA. He ranked 4th in ERA (.21 behind Hirofumi Kono and also pitched 3 shutout innings in 1988 NPB All-Star Game 3. Ono extended his solid performance and he was selected into the NPB All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive years in the next summer; he started and pitched 2 shutout innings in Game 2. Ono ended up 12-9 with a 3.39 ERA in 1987, ranking 5th in strikeouts (24 behind Hideyuki Awano), 5th in wins (7 behind Awano) and 4th in ERA (.89 behind Choji Murata). In the 1989 Nippon Series, he started in Game 4, but allowed 4 runs in 5 1/3 innings and Isao Koda of the Yomiuri Giants beat him with a shutout. He then relieved Tetsuro Kato in Game 7, allowed a run in 1/3 of a inning and ended up with a no-decision. Kintetsu won the first three games, but the Giants then took the other games and won the Nippon Series.

Ono slumped due to a left elbow injury in 1990, so he only went 3-4 with a 5.04 ERA. He came back in the next season, when he had a 12-4 record and won the PL Comeback Player of the Year Award. He ranked 6th in wins (5 behind Hideo Nomo), 5th in ERA (.51 behind Tomio Watanabe) and got a vote in MVP Voting. However, Ono slumped to 0-3 with a 9.24 ERA in 1992, then the Buffaloes released him after he recorded a terrible 8.38 ERA in 1993.

The Seibu Lions picked him up, and Ono bounced back as he was 7-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 1994. He started in Game 3 of the 1994 Nippon Series, pitched 8 innings with only an unearned run allowed, and ended up with a no-decision as Jimmy Jones and company were also shutting down Seibu. The Lions lost to the Yomiuri Giants in 6 games, and Ono was unable to win a Nippon Series title in his career. He was still reliable in 1995 and he had a 2.85 ERA in 123 innings, but he only pitched 7 games in 1996 due to another elbow injury. The Lions then traded him to the Chunichi Dragons for Yoshiaki Kanemura. Ono allowed 15 runs in 11 2/3 innings for the Dragons, then he announced his retirement after the 1997 season. He was the pitching coach for Kintetsu from 1998 to 2001, for their minor league from 2002 to 2003 and came back to the big club in 2004. When Kintetsu merged with the Orix BlueWave, Ono jumped to the brand new Rakuten Golden Eagles. He worked as their pitching coach in 2005 and for their minor league team from 2006 to 2007. Ono was also the pitching coach for the Seibu Lions from 2008 to 2011 and in 2019.

Overall, Ono was 82-78 with a 4.03 ERA, struck out 1,005 and pitched 1,445 1/3 innings in 14 years in the NPB.

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