After some speculation in the Japanese media, English sources are now reporting that the Swallows have signed Canadian RHP Chris Leroux. Leroux is a Canadian who was born in my hometown of Montreal, although it appears he went to high school in Ontario. He was a member of the 2009 and 2013 Canadian WBC teams. He started and was the winning pitcher in Canada’s win against Mexico in the latest WBC. Leroux has spent time in the Pirates and Marlins organizations and has appeared in 63 games (all in relief) at the major league level over 5 years. While his major league appearances have come mainly in relief, he has been starting in AAA in recent seasons. Leroux spent part of 2012 with an injured pec and was designated for assignment by the Pirates last week.
The Canadian brings a fastball/slider combination with him to Tokyo, but it’s not yet clear how the team wants to use him. It will likely take the team and Leroux about a month to get everything settled and have him appear in games. Earlier reporting indicated that the team was looking at Leroux as a starter.
We wish Chris Leroux all the best, and hope he contributes to righting this ship!!!