We will not see Masumi Kuwata pitch again for the Pirates, even after rosters expand Sept. 1. The Pirates have guys on their 40-man roster — younger guys, who supposedly are building blocks for the future — who deserve to get a look-see.
The Kuwata Experiment was fun, albeit doomed from the start. The 39-year-old former star of the Japanese Central League was a long-shot to pitch in the majors in the first place. Ultimately, there were too many years, too many injuries for him to overcome. Still, it was interesting being able to observe the diligence with which he approached his job — hopefully, it rubbed off on some of the guys around him in the clubhouse. And it was neat to swap notes on baseball and culture with the Japanese media.
I expect Kuwata will retire, and the Pirates will try to hire him as a coach or scout. The Pirates, who had never had a Japanese player on their roster until Kuwata, can use every ounce of publicity and good will they can get outside of the U.S. This franchise is woefully behind the curve when it comes to signing foreign talent.