Softbank Fails to Add a Bat
The trade/foreign player acquisition deadline came and went without Sadaharu Oh’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks adding the power bat they were looking for. According to Nishi Nippon Sports, the Hawks were looking for a player who could hit and field, and had someone in mind when they sent team COO Takeuchi to America on July 28 for last minute negotiations. Said team representative Tsunoda, “in the end we narrowed it down to one player and made an offer, but he didn’t accept”. Tsunoda adds that they were looking for someone that they could hang on to for next season. I guess we’ll never know who they were targeting.
This leaves Softbank with Michael Restovich as the only foreign batter on the team’s roster. Restovich has so far been a disappointment with only three home runs and a .231 batting average, and is currently working on his game with the farm team. Softbank’s failure to add a bat may give him a chance to re-establish himself.
Softbank is losing two players to the Olympics; lefy starters Tsuyoshi Wada and Toshiya Sugiuchi. The Hawks are only two games over .500, and is only 2.5 games ahead of Orix for 3rd place in Pacific League. 5th and 6th place Lotte and Rakuten are 3 and 6 games back respectively, so it looks like it’ll be a tight race for the third and final playoff spot in the Pacific League.