Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates signed left-handed pitcher Yao-Hsun Yang (pronounced Young) to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. I talked with Yang through a translator yesterday afternoon to learn a bit more about his pitches and his decision to come to the US.
“I had been playing in Japan for several years, and right now I want to go for a higher level, so I came here,” Yang said.
He had suffered two injuries last year, including an arm injury, but said he feels healthy now. As far as his pitches, he throws a low 90s fastball, along with a slider, curveball, and changeup. Yang said that his slider is his best pitch, and that he uses a split changeup in the game. As you can see by the video, he also has a delay in his windup, which is a timing thing that is very common for pitchers coming out of Asia.