Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Another cub, but this one's not young.
Kyuji Fujikawa, Cubs reliever, will turn 33 this July. If he won the Rookie of the Year award this year, he'd be the oldest to do so.
But there's reason to take this factoid as a strength, not a weakness. Currently, the oldest rookie of the year ever is Kaz Sasaki, the Japanese closer who came over and dominated in Seattle for three years.
There are other flaws to his candidacy. His fastball velocity has waned over the years, and it's down to about 90 mph. He's really a two-pitch guy with a fastball and a split-finger, and sometimes the split-finger is hard to get across the plate. And he's a reliever, so he'll have to close to get the attention of the voters.
On the other hand, the path is clear. Carlos Marmol is falling apart, and he never could find the plate to begin with. Management in Chicago has already informed his agent to expect a trade this season, and now it looks like they have made him the closer. The team paid Fujikawa to a two-year deal that vests based on games finished in 2014. The Cubs pen is devoid of real talent beyond Fujikawa. He could hold on to the role all year.
And beyond the situation on the Cubs, there's the situation among the rookies in the greater National League.
Oscar Taveras is the consensus top prospect, but the Cardinals are a stacked team at every position other than shortstop, and have seemingly shown a preference for seasoned, older players in the past.
Christian Yelich in Miami and Adam Eaton in Arizona are hurt, and you never know how long these things will take to resolve. Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran and Jose Fernandez all have roles to begin the season, but all are fresh-faced pitchers who could be sent down for more seasoning should they struggle.
Kyuji Fujikawa is not fresh-faced. There's no reason to send a 33-year-old down to the minors. The bullpen is terrible around him. He could easily win the hardware and set a record while doing it.