Makoto Yoshino (吉野 誠)
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.
Makoto Yoshino pitched over 300 games in Nippon Pro Baseball.
Yoshino allowed 5 runs in 3 innings in the 1998 Haarlem Baseball Week, going 0-1. He gave up 3 runs in one inning for the Japanese national team in the 1998 Baseball World Cup. For his collegiate career, he was 14-15 with a 2.24 ERA. The Hanshin Tigers drafted him in the second round in 1999, after Kanichi Matoba in round one. He had a 0-4, 3.99 record in 34 games as a rookie in 2000, walking 20 in 38 1/3 IP. His first NPB strikeout came against Takahiro Saeki. He saw reduced action in 2001 (0-1, 4.12 in 15 G). He converted to a sidearm motion in 2002 and did well as a LOOGY (1.33 ERA, .206 opponent average, 33 K in 27 IP over 35 G).
He tied a NPB record with five consecutive walks July 26, 2003 against the Chunichi Dragons. He only walked 9 other batters that year, going 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA and .97 WHIP in 41 1/3 IP over 56 games. He was 7th in the Central League in games pitched, forming a strong bullpen with Yuya Ando and Jeff Williams. In the 2003 Japan Series, he sat out game one but then appeared in the next six games as Hanshin fell to the Daiei Hawks. He was 1-0 with only 3 hits and one walk in 6 1/3 IP while fanning 6 and leading the Series in appearances. He won game 3, an extra-inning affair, after relieving Trey Moore.
Yoshino remained a LOOGY in 2004, but battled a tendon injury in his ring finger; he totaled 9 2/3 IP in 23 games but gave up 30 hits (a .526 average), 5 walks, 3 hit batsmen and 20 runs (18 earned for a 16.76 ERA). On April 7, he threw 64 pitches against the Yokohama BayStars, allowing 8 runs; the 64 pitches were a record at that point. He saw scant action over the next three years: 3.60 ERA in 10 IP in 2005, 0 R in 4 1/3 IP in 2006 and 3 R in 3 2/3 IP in 2007.
He was then traded with Osamu Hamanaka to the Orix Buffaloes for Keiichi Hirano and Kenta Abe. He returned to regular action with Orix, going 1-3 with a 3.66 ERA in 32 IP over 43 G in 2008. He had a one-pitch loss July 29, giving up a losing hit to Craig Brazell. He was 0-1 with 13 runs in 12 innings in 2009, though, and allowed 5 runs in 1 2/3 IP in 2010. He rebounded in 2011, with a 1.19 ERA in 50 outings, walking just 3 in 30 1/3 IP. Only Yoshihisa Hirano and Mamoru Kishida pitched more games for the 2011 Buffaloes. The veteran was 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 20 2/3 IP and 40 G in 2012 and allowed a hit and a walk to the only batters he faced in 2013.
He ended his career with a 4-11 record, one save and a 3.91 ERA in 340 games (4 starts). In 250 2/3 IP, he allowed 259 hits and 85 walks while striking out 197. He threw a fastball (91 mph peak), slider and shuuto. After retiring as a player, Hanshin brought him back as a scout.