FULL COUNT: Season ends for most, handful have a shot a ring

The 2013 regular-season has ended with only a few Japanese and JA players getting a shot this post-season.

It’s possible that Kurt Suzuki won’t be on Oakland’s AL Division Series roster with Stephen Vogt and Derek Norris healthy as carrying three catchers is uncommon, but the veteran did hit .303 in 15 games since returning to the Athletics in August so there’s always a chance he may get a shot in the event of injury or in a subsequent series.

Shane Victorino will make the Boston Red Sox playoff roster. He hit .294 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs while set-up man Junichi Tazawa (5-4) has 26 holds, 72 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP. Closer Koji Uehara (4-1) finishes with 21 saves and a 0.57 WHIP. 1.14 ERA. Uehara notably had a streak of 37 consecutive batters retired. All three were major contributors to Boston’s success.

Demoted Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Brandon League (6-4) shouldn’t be on L.A.’s NL Division Series roster after a 5.30 ERA and a reputation for blowing saves. He signed a three-year $23 million deal in the off-season and the front office is certainly regretting it.

Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Sept. 29 to force a Wild Card tiebreaker with the Rays, but Texas lost thus Darvish finishes 2013 with a 13-9 record with a 2.83 ERA to go along with an major league-leading 277 strikeouts. It’s amazing what this guy can do.

Angels right-hander Jerome Williams closes the season with a 9-10 record, 4.57 ERA and 107 strikeouts. He can start or relief pitch, so expect to see Williams in an Angels uniform next year.

Seattle Mariners No. 2 starter Hisashi Iwakuma finishes the season with 14 wins, a 2.66 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP over 219.2 innings. He’s second in the AL in both ERA and WHIP while his 185 strikeouts are in the top 10. You can definitely make a Cy Young argument here.

Norichika Aoki was a key contributor for the Milwaukee Brewers batting .286 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs. He’s in line for a contract extension.

As always, Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney is a Gold Glover in the field and terrible at the plate with just a .569 OPS for the year. Don’t expect anything different next year.

Ichiro Suzuki hit .262 with seven homers and 35 RBIs for the New York Yankees in his first season as a rotational player while Hiroki Kuroda finishes the year with an 11-13 record, 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP over 201.1 innings. A solid year for Kuroda.

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie (15-12) ends the year with a 4.04 ERA and 111 strikeouts. He’ll be part of Kansas City’s rotation for the next two years.

Daisuke Matsuzaka
(3-3) finished the season strong, winning his third straight start as the New York Mets defeated the playoff-bound Cincinnati Reds 1-0 on Sept. 25.

Drew Morita, a Yonsei from the island of Kaua‘i, grew up rooting for the Oakland A’s but is now a loyal San Francisco Giants fan. He writes from San Francisco. Follow him @drewmorita or e-mail him at drew_morita@yahoo.com.

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