Aoki Moved to Left Field

» 01 August 2009 » In npb »

Norichika Aoki is being moved from center to left field due to the poor defense of the team in the last two games. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows have the least errors in NPB, but committed three errors during their last two losses. Manager Takada states, “We have been pretty good defensively, but the defense miscues hurt. So do the misses which will not be recorded on paper.”

Manager Takada quotes regarding Aoki, “It’s not worth commenting. Not hitting the ball well could affect the defense. He usually does not emotionally commit himself to defense, but he needs to do his job. He is a player that is capable of doing it.”  After the game, the decision was made immediately to move Aoki to left from field.

This will be the first time Aoki will start a game in left during the season. In his rookie season, he came in to play the position twice and also played the position in seven of the nine games during the World Baseball Classic. An in-season conversion is rare and manager Takada says, “It might be a good thing for him mentally.”

The anger of the manager reached to a point where he changed the position of the team leader and we shall see if the manager pulling the trigger three games into the second half of the season will have a positive effect on the team. Aoki is hitting .308 (4-13) with HR, 3RBI and 2R in the first three games in the post All Star break. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows are currently in 3rd place trailing the league-leading Tokyo Yomiuri Giants by 4.5 games.


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