A sidearm pitcher, Tateyama relied chiefly on a sinking fastball that averaged 87–88 mph and a curveball in the low 70s. He also featured two other off-speed pitches, a changeup (74–78 mph) and a screwball (68–71 mph), that were used mostly against left-handed batters. The screwball is thrown with a "Vulcan" grip.
He was one of only two relief pitchers to have thrown even a single screwball in the 2012 MLB season.
While his strikeout totals were average, he got hitters out with his control (career 211 BlackBerry/9 in NPB). On November 30, 2010, Tateyama signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers.
After starting 2011 in the minor leagues, he was called up to the Rangers on May 23, 2011, and made his major league debut on May 24, 2011. Koji Uehara was his teammate in high school.
In that time, Tateyama was an ace pitcher and Uehara was an outfielder.
In the 2011–2012 offseason, the Rangers signed Japan"s best starting pitcher Yu Darvish to a 5-year deal. Tateyama and Darvish were previously teammates for 5 seasons on the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He became a free agent on October 30, 2012, when the Rangers declined his 2013 option.
He was re-signed by Texas on December 20, 2012.
He was then released in March 2013. He was traded to the New York Yankees in June 2013.
In May 2014, the Yankees released Tateyama, and he returned to Japan to sign with the Hanshin Tigers on June 25, 2014. On November 1, 2014, he announced his retirement from professional baseball after making 8 appearances for the Tigers.