Archive > 13 March 2009

Over 20 Scouts Watch Darvish

» 13 March 2009 » In mlb prospects, npb » 6 Comments

According to multiple Japanese sources, over 20 scouts from more than 10 teams gathered to watch Japan’s exhibition game against the Cubs, with the center of attention obviously being Yu Darvish. Darvish didn’t disappoint, holding the Cubs scoreless in his two innings of work. Nikkan Sports adds that he hit 96mph on the gun, or about 155kmph. His fastest recorded pitch in NPB is 154kmph so he might have dialled it up a little bit for the Cubs. He also threw his two-seam fastball and slider, but no word on whether his curveball has made an appearance. 

I didn’t see any of this game. I actually get WGN on my cable system so I’m kicking myself for not knowing whether they aired it or not. Anyway, here are some quotes from people who were there as reported by Nikkan Sports:

Alfonso Soriano: “He’s a good pitcher. His breaking pitches in particular stand out. He’s a tough opponent. He could definitely play in the majors.”

Carlos Zambrano: “He has an aura on the mound. That’s important for a pitcher. He uses his off-speed pitches well, and really knows how to pitch.”

SF Giants Far East Scount John Cox: “We don’t know if he’ll come over via posting or as a free agent, but if he’s interested in the majors we’ll think about acquiring him.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka will reportedly start against Cuba in round two, so we can expect to see Darvish later in the tournament.

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WBC Musings

» 13 March 2009 » In international baseball » Comments Off on WBC Musings

Time to get back into the swing of things and get back to writing here. I don’t think I’ll be able to post as often as I had been before, but hopefully I’ll get back to a decent pace. Let’s start with some thoughts on the WBC.

  • No matter who wins the WBC, the story of the tournament will be the Netherlands’ upset of the Dominican Republic. I watched the end of the second game and it was electric baseball —  the kind of thing that makes the tournament worth watching. I saw the last couple of innings of the Netherlands-Puerto Rico game, and the Dutch side didn’t look that good at the plate. They couldn’t catch up with what looked like MLB-average fastballs up in the zone. But then again, they were coming off an emotional game against the Dominicans, and were playing in front of a very enthusiastic Puerto Rican home crowd. They’ll be the underdogs against Venezuela, but I’m expecting a good game.
  • I stayed up late to watch some of the Asian pool games, specifically the ones involving Japan. Even I found Orestes Destrade’s Japan bias to be a little annoying. Anyway, the baseball was good. Yu Darvish mostly looked good against China, but I thought he nibbled a little too much and could have challenged the Chinese hitters with his excellent fastball a little more. He had complained about not being able to command his breaking pitches with the WBC ball, so we’ll see if that becomes an issue later on. 
  • Japan’s lineup looks a lot better with Atsunori Inaba not batting fourth. I didn’t expect them to pound Korea 14-2, nor did I expect them to lose 1-0 in the next game. We’ll see how they do against Cuba in round 2. 
  • What’s with the Italian team? Only 10 of the 28 players are actually from Italy. I saw a lot of commenters saying that their win over Canada was “good for Italian baseball” but how does it help if it’s Dan Serafini and Frank Catalanotto (nothing against those two guys)? 

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