"I will try my best." Canberra Cavalry starting pitcher Kosuke Sakaguchi has the unenviable job of trying to fill the massive boots of fellow Yokohama Baystars pitcher Shota Imanaga.
While he doesn't rate himself in the same class as Imanaga, that won't stop him from giving it a crack.
Imanaga was an ABL sensation last summer, leading the league with an earned-run average of just 0.51, winning all six of his starts and giving up just three runs.
Not surprisingly he was an instant hit with Cavalry fans, setting them up for a finals campaign.
Sakaguchi will start game four for the Cavalry in their season-opening series against the Melbourne Aces at Narrabundah Ballpark, which starts Thursday night.
The 20-year-old played three games for the Baystars this year and was hoping his trip Down Under would help establish him at the top level in Japan.
He only arrived on the weekend, but pitched an inning in Canberra's pre-season trial against Korean club SK Wyverns.
While he wasn't happy with the outing, he was confident he would be ready come Sunday.
"I think we are pretty different, because Shota's got great command. Overall he's a way better pitcher I think," Sakaguchi said through an interpreter.
"Myself I can't say I have really great command, but I've got my power pitch and also a breaking ball.
"In Japan I'm the type of pitcher that gets a lot of ground-ball outs so I want to show that."
Sakaguchi's one of three Yokohama pitchers on the Cavalry's roster for the opening series, along with Takamasa Kasai and Shinichi Ohnuki.
Kasai made his Baystars debut last year and finished 2019 with an ERA of 4.03.
He initially wanted to come out with the first batch of Yokohama players last summer, but had other things on.
Instead the Baystars sent pitchers Imanaga, Yuki Kuniyoshi and Tomoya Mikami, as well as outfielder Kouki Aoyagi.
Now Kasai gets his chance.
"I wanted to come last year too, but I also had other stuff I wanted to do so I decided not to put my hand up," Kasai said.
"But Kuniyoshi and Imanaga, who came to Canberra last year, did it very well and made me want to come even more.
"Now I'm more eager to be here so I put my hand up."
The Aces also have links with Nippon Professional Baseball, with four players from the Orix Buffaloes in their squad, including pitcher Ryoga Tomiyama.
ABL ROUND ONE
Thursday: Canberra Cavalry v Melbourne Aces at Narrabundah Ballpark, 7pm. Game two Friday 7pm, game three Saturday 7pm and game four Sunday 1pm. Tickets available from canberracavalry.com.au.