Masao Kida

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Masao Kida (木田 優夫)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Masao Kida was drafted in the first round by the Yomiuri Giants in the 1986 NPB draft. Kida played with the class A Miami Miracle in 1988, going 7-17 with a 3.99 ERA in 27 games. He led the Florida State League in defeats though his ERA was better than team average. Masao debuted in Nippon Pro Baseball with the Giants in 1989 going 2-1 with a 4.62 ERA in 8 games. In 1990, Kida had a career year going 12-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 32 games, even compiling 13 complete games in the process. He led the Central League in strikeouts, with 182 in 182 2/3 innings and made his first All-Star team in Japan. After that great campaign, Kida struggled in 1991, only showing a line of 4-7 with one save and a 6.44 ERA in 19 games. Starting in 1991, Kida was used exclusively out of the bullpen, where he became a pretty consistent pitcher, going 7-7 with 2 saves and a 3.35 ERA in 35 games in 1993. He fell to 6-8 with one save and a 4.93 ERA in 28 games in 1994. Kida rebounded in 1995 posting a record of 7-9 with a 3.40 ERA then had another good year in 1996, going 7-9 with 2 saves and a 3.78 ERA. In his last year with Yomiuri in 1997, Kida had a career-best year out of the bullpen, with a 2-2 record, 7 saves and a 1.99 ERA in 39 games. The Giants traded Kida to the Orix Blue Wave for Takahito Nomura; Masao went 4-7 with 16 saves and a 4.62 ERA in 36 games for Yomiuri in 1998. He was third in the Pacific League in saves, 19 behind leader Akinori Otsuka.

After becoming a free agent, Kida signed with the Detroit Tigers in November 1998. Kida struggled in his first year with Detroit in 1999 going 1-0 with one save and a 6.26 ERA in 49 games. In 2000, Kida only appeared in 2 games, not factoring in a decision and had a 10.22 ERA. He spent most of the season with the Toledo Mud Hens, for whom he was 2-1 with 7 saves and a 2.16 ERA, striking out 26 and walking just 4 in 25 innings of work. As he had failed in his two seasons with Detroit in the majors, he was released.

As a result, Kida found himself out of a major league job and returned to Japan to rejoin the Blue Wave in June 2000. Kida went 3-3 with three saves and a 5.66 ERA in 24 games the remainder of that year. He went 2-1 with one save and a 3.72 ERA in 13 contests during the 2001 season.

Kida returned to the majors in February 2003, signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kida spent most of the season with AAA Las Vegas 51's, where he was 2-4 with a 5.02 ERA in 21 games as a swingman. He also pitched 3 times in the majors, making 2 starts, with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 3.00 in 12 innings. Kida was involved in a auto accident the next February. He spent most of the 2004 season rehabbing from his injury. He was 3-1 for Las Vegas but had a 5.97 ERA in 9 games. He still did received a call-up by the Dodgers, but was designated for assignment after 3 appearances. The Seattle Mariners claimed him off waivers. Kida struggled with the Mariners in 8 games, not factoring in a decision, and had an 8.38 ERA. Kida spent most of the 2005 season with the AAA Tacoma Rainiers and had a good year, as he saved 22 games and went 3-6 with a 4.08 ERA in a league where no team had an ERA under 4.21. Masao was 5 saves behind league leader Brad Baker. Kida only appeared in one game at the major league level, not registering a decision, and had a 4.50 ERA. It was his last major league appearance.

Kida again was again out of a major league job, and signed with the Yakult Swallows in December. Used as a reliever by Yakult, Masao went 3-5 with 8 saves and a 3.09 ERA in 56 appearances in 2006, the most on the club. He also made his second All-Star team. He had another solid season in 2007 going 1-3 with 2 saves and a 3.14 ERA in 50 games.

Sources: Japanese Baseball, Japan Baseball Daily, Yakult Swallows website

Related Sites[edit]

Kida optimistic on comeback, call-up