Update on Minor Leaguers
Things are progressing slowly for the ex-NPB farmhands who are looking minor league deals in America, but there is some news:
- The Orioles picked up former Lotte farmhand Ryohei Tanaka on a minor league deal. Tanaka commented: “I was surprised. When I heard, tears came out”. Tanaka had taken part in three tryouts.
- Former SoftBank righty Kazuhiro Takeoka had an audition with the Braves at Turner Field on the 6th. No word on the outcome yet, but if he passed he’ll get a minor league deal. Takeoka worked out for the Braves in Japan in December, and played in the Braves system between 2001-03, reaching AAA.
- Takeoka has been working out in LA with former Kintetsu Buffaloe and Yomiuri Giant Koichi Misawa. Misawa spent spring training last year in the White Sox’ minor league camp, but got released and spent the season closing in the independant Northern League.
- Another former SoftBank pitcher, Michinao Yamamura, is playing the independent Golden League while he tries to get a contract with an affiliated team. Thanks to reader Dave for the tip on this one.