Archive > 18 February 2009

Uehara’s Debuts

» 18 February 2009 » In mlb » 3 Comments

Quick notes about Koji Uehara — he’ll make his spring debut on Feb 27 vs the Marlins, and his regular season debut on April 8 at home against the Yankees. Uehara opens the season as the Orioles’ #2 starter behind Jeremy Guthrie (who as it happens, has a Japanese-American mom).

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Noguchi’s Contract Cancelled

» 18 February 2009 » In mlb prospects » 1 Comment

Shigeki Noguchi’s agreed-upon contract with the Blue Jays will not be completed. According to Sports Hochi, Noguchi’s physical turned up irregularities in his left (throwing) elbow, and he’s already returned to Japan. Noguchi had been training in Florida in advance of the Blue Jays’ minor league camp opening.

Noguchi wants to continue his career, but said earlier in the offseason that he’d retire if he didn’t get a chance to pitch in the US or Japan. Noguchi failed an audition with Rakuten last autumn.

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WBC Workouts

» 18 February 2009 » In international baseball » 1 Comment

Two WBC-related videos to pass along… the first is Rakuten pitcher Masahiro Tanaka taking on Ichiro. Tanaka gets the better of him with a battery of breaking pitches.

And here’s a video of the whole team working out. The most notable thing about this clip is that there were, according to reports, over 40,000 people on hand to greet the team. I doubt that 40k people made it in to the stadium, but you can see that the whole infield lower deck and the rightfield bleachers are full. Keep in mind this is workout and not an actual game.

Also, here is a collection of pics from Sanspo.

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SoftBank Still Looking For a Bat. Still.

» 18 February 2009 » In npb » 2 Comments

After slumping to a surprising 6th-place finish in the Pacific League last year, the SoftBank Hawks went into the offseason looking to acquire some offense, but only came away with Chris Aguila, who himself admits to being more of a gap hitter. It had been reported that the Hawks were after Nelson Cruz and Eric Hinske, but Cruz couldn’t be pried away from Texas and Hinske signed with Pittsburgh.

The Hawks haven’t given up on finding a power hitter for the 2009 season. They’re now targetting guys who are now in camp with MLB teams, but fall off active rosters as the teams head North. Team COO Takeuchi says, “even for the same player, the salary is many times different after being dropped from the majors. We’ve reached out but haven’t had any concrete financial discussions yet”. They have a list, but no names are public yet.

Of course, I should point out that Manny Ramirez is still unsigned, and Barry Bonds hasn’t “officially” retired yet.

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