Hiroshi Kisanuki (木佐貫 洋)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.
- School Asia University
Hiroshi Kisanuki was the Central League rookie of the year in 2003.
Kisanuki beat the more acclaimed Tsuyoshi Wada in the final game of Japan's top college tournament in 2002. He was 1-1 with a 0.54 ERA in the 2002 World University Championship and tossed a 4-hit shutout of Taiwan in the Bronze Medal game. Brad Sullivan made the All-Star team instead. Kisanuki was picked by the Yomiuri Giants in the draft and had a fine rookie campaign, going 10-7 with a 3.34 ERA and 180 strikeouts (44 BB) in 175 innings in 2003. He was 5th in the Central League in ERA, 4th in complete games (9), tied for the most shutouts (2), tied Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi and Trey Moore for 7th in wins and was second to Koji Uehara in strikeouts. He was Yomiuri's #2 starter after Uehara, ahead of former stars like Kimiyasu Kudoh and Masumi Kuwata. Hiroshi won Rookie of the Year honors for his work. He was on Japan's roster for the 2003 Asian Championship but did not appear as they won Gold.
Kisanuki faded in 2004, going 7-8 with 5 saves and a 5.03 ERA. He fanned 154 in 139 2/3 innings but allowed more hits (168) and homers (20) and walks (50) than as a rookie despite his reduced inning load. He led the league in hit batters (11), was 6th in walks, 3rd in runs allowed, in the top 10 in homers surrendered and was 7th in hits allowed; he also was 4th in strikeouts. He was one of Yomiuri's less effective starters and was the worst of the four closers they tried (Brian Sikorski, Hideki Okajima and Yuya Kubo were the others).
In 2005, Kisanuki was 0-1 with a save and a 3.95 ERA in 14 games, used in relief, before shoulder surgery ended his season. His comeback in 2006 was horrid, as he allowed 24 hits in 10 1/3 innings, for a 9.56 ERA.
Kisanuki bounced back in 2007, going 12-9 with a 3.09 ERA. He finished 5th in the CL in ERA, tied for 5th in wins and was 9th in strikeouts (131). He was only the club's #3 starter as Hisanori Takahashi and Tetsuya Utsumi had even better ERAs. In 2008, he bounced between the Yomiuri staff and ni-gun, going 6-5 with a 4.14 ERA while up with Yomiuri.