Justin Germano Fueled By Rough Bumps Over the Years, Shares Japanese Ideologies With Bobby Valentine

Justin Germano Fueled By Rough Bumps Over the Years, Shares Japanese Ideologies With Bobby ValentineThe journey has taken Justin Germano to far-reaching places.

From Japan to Columbus to Cleveland to South Korea to Pawtucket, the right-handed pitcher has traveled the world, hoping to revive his major league career back to where it was in 2007 as a member of the Padres.

Now, Germano has earned a shot in Boston. Since Germano had a July 1 opt-out clause in his minor league contract, the Red Sox could have risked losing him if they hadn't elevated him to the majors.

It's a notable stride for Germano, who was toiling away in Japan three years ago –– for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. The unpleasant experience has fueled him to continue pushing for a career in the United States.

"It’s definitely hit or miss," Germano said of the experience overseas. "We had six Americans on our team and three guys stayed and three of us came home because we didn’t like it. It was a tough transition being far away.

"I don’t know if I could say I was really settled in over in Japan. I didn’t really have a smooth transition over there. It was a long eight months."

This season, Germano has dazzled in Pawtucket, posting a 9-4 record with a 2.40 ERA. The 29-year-old has pitched 105 innings, striking out 72 batters while only allowing 33 hits.

The pinnacle of Germano's career in the U.S. came in 2007, when he tallied a 7-10 record and 4.46 ERA as a starter for the Padres. Since that season, he's only made 44 appearances in the majors with San Diego and Cleveland.

But his familiarity with Japanese philosophies –– which coincides with Boston manager Bobby Valentine's style when he managed the Chiba Lotte Marines –– could make him an ideal fit in Boston. They share the same beliefs when it comes to fielding.

"I think Bobby thinks if we can field our positions the best that we can, that will help," Germano said. "Whereas, I think a lot of people think all we do is throw the ball and they want us to get out of the way after that. They joke and say ‘The pitchers are the non-athletes of the team,' but we do have a part in the defense and fielding our position, covering first and double plays. It is important to get those reps down."

There's no shortage of talent, considering Germano tossed a perfect game for Columbus, the Indians' Triple-A affiliate. But the journey has taken him many places and he'll look to capitalize on this stop with the Red Sox.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

Photo via Twitter/@JustGerm

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