Archive > 15 February 2009

Spring Training In Pictures

» 15 February 2009 » In international baseball, mlb, npb » Comments Off

Man, it is pouring here in Silicon Valley on this President’s Day weekend. Great time to do a little bloggin’

The Japanese sports rags have been publishing pics of NPB camps for a couple of weeks, but now that MLB & WBC camps are opening we’ll get coverage of those as well:

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Spring Training YouTube Highlights

» 15 February 2009 » In npb » Comments Off

By the time MLB pitchers and catchers hit camps this week, NPB teams will have had their full squads in camp for two full weeks. Here are some highlights, courtesy of fans on YouTube.
  • The first practice game of the spring training season, Hanshin vs Nippon Ham. Yu Darvish started for the Fighters, while Kyuji Fujikawa pitched the first few innings for the Tigers. Note that Kyuji surrenders a walk to Jason Botts after being called for stalling on his third pitch. I’m no fan of that rule, but Kyuji should be the last guy breaking it as he only throws two pitches.
  • New Chunichi Dragons import Tony Blanco has been getting good reviews in the Japanese media, but I could see him having a great camp and then not doing much during the season. Here’s a fan-shot video of him taking batting practice.
  • Here’s another fan-shot Dragons video, this one of Maximo Nelson pitching in an intrasquad game. Very high video quality on this one.

You can find more using this YouTube search link.

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Signings: Jimenez, Romero

» 15 February 2009 » In npb » Comments Off

NPB camp invitees Luis Jimenez and Levi Romero have signed contracts with their respective teams. Jimenez gets a deal with Nippon Ham, where he figures to be depth behind Jason Botts and Termel Sledge. Romero will take an instructional contract with the Yomiuri Giants paying him about $37k. He’ll wear number 111.

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Found: Ryohei Tanaka’s Stats

» 15 February 2009 » In mlb prospects » Comments Off

That was easier than I expected — I only had to look as far as my rss reader, where what I was looking for on the excellent Marine Blue blog. The author published a retrospective on Tanaka after he was released by the Marines, which includes abbreviated stats and a number of photos. Highly recommended. The author published similar retrospectives on all the players that left the Marines over the last offseason. 

Here are the stats, re-purposed in English.

Year Appearances Wins Losses Saves Innings K ERA
2001 E1 0 0 0 1/3 0 54.00
2002 E25 1 5 0 68 1/3 52 5.93
2003 5 0 0 0 10 5 8.10
2003 E23 0 1 0 30 2/3 25 6.16
2004 E20 0 1 3 23 12 4.30
2005 E1 0 0 0 1 0 63.00
2006 E35 3 0 0 39 1/3 20 4.12
2007 E28 4 3 0 67 34 4.70
2008 E23 1 4 0 46 20 6.07

Note that numbers prefixed with “E” in the appearances column are Eastern (minor) League appearances. I’ve italicized his 2003, top-level appearances. You can learn a lot more about the Japanese minor leagues on Deanna’s site.

Generally speaking I don’t take minor league stats too seriously. There are too many things to discredit them — the player might be working on a curveball, might be facing guys on rehab assignments, might be playing in front of an inexperienced defense. But from a young pitcher with eight years experience, I’d like to see some signs of improvement and a decent K rate, both of which are missing from Tanaka’s resume. Maybe he’ll take to US coaching and conditioning and improve, but the numbers would seem to indicate that he has a long way to go.

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