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Japanese star joins Tuatara for Cavalry series

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Auckland Tuatara have added 14-year Japanese pro Kyohei Muranaka to their playing roster for this weekend’s series against the Canberra Cavalry at North Harbour Stadium.

Left-handed pitcher Muranaka made his professional debut with the Yakult Swallows in 2006. He spent his entire 14-year Nippon Baseball League career with the Swallows barring a one season hiatus in Hawaii.

The 32-year-old produced a 55-59 career with a career ERA of 4.22 (runs conceded per nine innings) while amassing 687 strike outs over 906 career innings.

His best season came in 2012 when he compiled a 10-7 record with an ERA of 3.88.

Muranaka went 4-1 for the Swallows in 2019 with an ERA of 4.64 over 21 innings of work.

Also joining the Tuatara for the first time this season is Venezuelan switch-hitting shortstop Yonny Hernandez, who has been stuck waiting for his passport and visa paperwork to go through.

The Texas Rangers prospect is likely to find a home atop the Tuatara order and will see Josh Morgan move over to second base and Kent Blackstone to third.

"We have been down on troops a little bit," chief executive Regan Wood said. "We obviously lost Ryan Costello before the season started and then Jeremy Vasquez after the opening weekend. Yonny hasn’t been able to get here until now so we really have been missing a couple of key bats.

"It will be good to add Yonny’s bat to the line-up this week.

"In Muranaka we get an experienced left-handed pitcher we can use to start games or to come out of the bullpen.

"He has a tremendous pedigree in Japan and we look forward to seeing what he can do for us."

The Tuatara are likely to bring in one more middle of the order batter in the next couple of weeks with details to be confirmed at a later date.

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