Dodgers get a ground-ball machine in Kuroda
TOKYO -- With the acquisition of Hiroki Kuroda, the Los Angeles Dodgers have purchased a gem. The 32-year-old right-hander is a real no-nonsense player with a top-notch track record."He's got a good fastball and three or four above-average pitches that he can throw in the zone," said Marty Brown, who managed Kuroda the past two seasons with the Hiroshima Carp. Kuroda, who has a 3.69 career ERA and 103-89 record, did more to help his team win from 2002 to 2007 than any other pitcher in Japan. The only player who contributed as much to his team's success per season over that period was current Red Sox right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka.
"I think Kuroda will be someone's No. 3 starter and will get just as many [ground balls] here as he did there," new Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman said last Wednesday in an e-mail. "He pitched and was successful in one of the smallest parks in Japan, and I also think he is a workhorse that will continue to eat up innings here in the States."
A look at Dodgers starting pitching in 2006 and 2007.
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