Archive > 08 February 2009

Fonzie is a Giant, Again

» 08 February 2009 » In npb » 1 Comment

Sponichi is reporting that the Yomiuri Giants are set to announce the official signing of Edgardo Alfonzo on the 9th JST. Alfonzo has been in camp with Yomiuri and apparently impressed manager Tatsunori Hara with his ability to handle the practice sessions. Alfonzo was with the San Francisco earlier in the decade, so this will be his second Giants uniform.

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Ichiro Working Out as a Pitcher

» 08 February 2009 » In international baseball, mlb » 10 Comments

You might remember a post I did last year that had a link to Ichiro pitching in the 1996 NPB All-Star Game. Ichiro came out and immediately hit 90 on the TV gun on his first warm-up pitch, and then induced a soft grounder from pinch-hitter Shingo Takatsu.

Nearly 13 years later, Japan WBC manager Tatsunori Hara has, perhaps unintentionally, prompted Ichiro to return to the mound by suggesting that using him in emergency situations is a possibility in this year’s tournament. In his workout on the 7th, he skipped batting practice and worked out as a pitcher. He threw 56 pitches off the mound at Skymark Stadium, throwing fastballs and forkballs. Word is that he hit 147kmph (92mph) with his fastest pitch. Ichiro said he wants to throw a little bit harder.

Sanspo has a series of photos of his work out: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Hara isn’t used to managing games that go beyond 12 innings, which might explain the idea of using a position player as a pitcher. Ichiro would probably be the most credible pitching candidate among the fielders in this year’s WBC. However far-fetched it might be, we might see Ichiro pitch in a competitive game this year.

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Offseason Changes: Hiroshima Carp

» 08 February 2009 » In npb » Comments Off on Offseason Changes: Hiroshima Carp

Coming: Takuro Ishii, Scott Dohmann, Mazda Stadium

Going: Alex Ochoa, Jim Brower, Shigeru Morikasa, Ken Takahashi, Victor Marte

Staying: Colby Lewis, Ben Kozloski, Scott Seabol, Mike Shultz, Akihiro Higashide, manager Marty Brown

Trending: slightly downward

Synopsis: Renewing the contracts of ace Lewis and manager Brown were the biggest moves the Carp made. Losing Takahashi to the majors hurts the team’s pitching depth, but someone should be able to step into his shoes. Hiroshima hasn’t added any major pieces but with the continuing improvement of the team’s young players, they should be ready to challenge Chunichi for the third and final playoff spot. Marte is a guy who came up through the Carp’s Dominican Academy who will now look to catch on with an MLB organization. Not sure who is going to replace Ochoa’s production.

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