The reliever recorded 220 career saves in Japan.
After a two-year, $9 million deal was announced for Kyuji Fujikama with the Chicago Cubs, the team has decided that he will begin the season with the Cubs as the setup man for Carlos Marmol, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago.
The Japanese pitcher told Rogers that the mindset of a setup man isn't any different than that of a closer, though:
"Mentally, as a closer, whatever it takes I have to get three outs or four outs depending on the situation," he said. "My mindset was to get outs. Even if I had to fill up the bases my mentality was to get outs."
Fujikama, 32, recorded 220 career saves as a closer in Japan, but will now back up Marmol, at least for now. However, just months after the Cubs tried to trade Marmol to the Angels, there's certainly an avenue for Fujikama to replace the 30-year old closer. In 2012, Marmol earned 20 saves, but had an unimpressive 3.42 ERA and 3-3 record.
The Cubs finished with a 61-101 record in 2012, marking only the third time in the history of the franchise that the team finished with 100 or more losses.