Pitching Coach Satoru Kanemura told reporters on September 21 that Kyuji Fujikawa might be best suited as a reliever or closer because of his fastball.
The Hanshin Tigers asked Fujikawa to prepare for this season as a starting pitcher. But he struggled and was moved to the bullpen after he went 1-2 in five starts with a 6.12 ERA. As the season progressed, he fastball improved, but he still had control issues with his off-speed pitches, particularly his forkball.
Fujikawa was taken off the active roster on September 20. He will remain with the Ichi-gun team until the end of the regular season.