First of all-- hi everybody. I'm a long-time OTM reader but only just made an account. With all the awfulness of the season, being able to come to this site has kept me sane amidst the inanity of the globe, banality of ESPN, and cackling douchebaginness of Deadspin.
At any rate, I've made no bones to my friends and fellow baseball fans about the fact that I'm a fan of Eri Yoshida and am pulling for her to succeed. I think that for an 18 year old girl, fresh out of high school and not speaking the language, to come to the U.S. and play in a men's league under massive scrutiny took an incredible level of courage. Furthermore, I've cheered harder for her because just mentioning her name seems to bring the cro-magnon delegation out in force, usually to spout utter non-sequiturs like "Yeah, cause a women could totally throw 95 MPH," as though that were a prerequisite for success in the majors.
She had some struggles at first, but so far this season there have been some encouraging signs of success. In her first start, she went 7 2/3rds, allowing 2 earned on 4 hits and only 1 walk. After 3 starts, she was 3-0 with a 3.20 ERA and a WHIP of 0.97--particularly remarkable in light of her throwing the knuckleball. She hit a rough patch for several starts after that, but it seems like she's returning to form --in her most recent start she went 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 walks and only one hit.
I realize of course that this is NABL competition, a cut below even the low minors. However, given that she's only 20, and already seems to have pretty solid command for a knuckleballer, doesn't it seem thoroughly possible that she'll be worth some club at least taking a flier on her for a single A spot within a year or two?