Padres hire Nomo as baseball ops advisor

Former pitcher to be involved in player development and assist club in Pacific Rim

February 11th, 2016
Hideo Nomo was the first Japanese player to permanently move to Major League Baseball. (AP)Lenny Ignelzi/AP

SAN DIEGO -- In a move to help strengthen their ties in the Pacific Rim, the Padres hired former Major League pitcher Hideo Nomo as an advisor for baseball operations.

Nomo will be involved in player development and baseball operations as well as helping the Padres expand their presence in the Pacific Rim.

"We are proud to welcome Hideo to the Padres organization," San Diego general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement. "His career as a Major League pitcher speaks for itself. His expertise and passion for baseball will be a significant asset to the Padres and I look forward to having his input going forward."

The Padres have been trying to gain a better foothold in terms of scouting in the Pacific Rim. In fact, they have four full-time scouts covering that area.

In November, a front office delegation held clinics and scouted players in Japan. Last year, the team hired Acey Kohrogi as an advisor to the Pacific Rim. Kohrogi spent 20 years with the Dodgers, several as the team's executive director of Pacific Rim operations.

Nomo was the first Japanese player to permanently move to Major League Baseball, paving the way for more than 50 other Japanese players to follow. He was inducted into the Japan Hall of Fame in 2014 at the age of 45, the youngest player ever elected.

"I am very happy to join the San Diego Padres and return to Major League Baseball," Nomo said in a statement. "My hope is that my advice will be handed down to the young players of the Padres. It is also an opportunity for me to learn, and I hope to help bring a World [Series] championship to the Padres. I look forward to working with A.J Preller and all of the Padres' baseball operations staff."

In October, the Padres hired former big league pitcher Takashi Saito as a front office intern, where he'll learn more about scouting, player development and other front office tasks.

Nomo entered the big leagues in 1995, going 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA in his first season with the Dodgers, also becoming the first Japanese player to play in an All-Star Game that season. He was named the National League Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting.

Over his 12-year Major League career, Nomo went 123-109 with a 4.24 ERA and 1,918 strikeouts in 1,976 1/3 innings. In addition to two stints with the Dodgers, Nomo also pitched for the Mets, Brewers, Tigers, Red Sox, Rays and Royals. He threw two no-hitters in his career, including the only one thrown in Coors Field history.

His no-hitter for the Red Sox against the Orioles on April 4, 2001, also happened to be the first game that Padres broadcaster Don Orsillo called for NESN. The Padres hired Orsillo in September.