NPB in English: Ex-Managers, Morimoto, Saito

» 15 December 2010 » In npb »

While there aren’t any NPB games to report on right now, the English language bloggers have still been busy. Here are some of the latest stories updates:

Got any additions? Add them in the comments.

Tags: , ,

Trackback URL

  1. Ken
    16/12/2010 at 10:56 am Permalink

    Nishioka is signing, present at Minneapolis for the physicals:

    While Iwakuma was a great case study, Nishioka will be a better benchmark for Japanese (NPB) position players coming to the Big at their prime.

    I’m predicting a 5 years and 18M deal. Hopefully, it can go higher, because this is a way-below market price for a talent with great instinct and softness, Jeter-esque, but I don’t know the amount of Nishioka’s posting fee, which can significantly affect the deal.

    By the way, we should have fun looking at how NPB thinks about the Iwakuma case. Yomiuri must be very happy: High posting fee (19.1M) and a proud demand. Rakuten and the glamorous Hoshino must be pissed.


  2. Ken
    16/12/2010 at 5:10 pm Permalink

    Read it was 3 years, $10m, with an option for a 4th year.

  3. Ken
    16/12/2010 at 5:10 pm Permalink

    For Nishioka.

  4. Ken
    16/12/2010 at 10:25 pm Permalink

    Yeah, that came out after I called the night.

    Nishioka is quite underrated, and I guess they found Iguchi’s comp of almost 12M for 4 yrs a reality, all good for the Twins org.

    Patrick, What’s NPB’s reaction towards both Tsuyoshi and Kuma’s results per posting?

  5. Ken
    16/12/2010 at 11:39 pm Permalink

    I haven’t really assessed that. The fans seemed supportive enough, while the establishment is used to this sort of thing.

    I have a link to add here: Gary Garland’s latest essay:

  6. Ken
    17/12/2010 at 5:55 am Permalink

    Gary should turn it into a “cool” satire. I smirked but didn’t LOL. Now back to Nishioka first, since I’m a Lotte fan, and this I care…

    From my understanding, this contract is a undervalue. Big win for the Twins.

    3+1 for 10M+? looks like a deflation from Iguchi and Fukudome’s earlier contracts. Both of them turned out adequately rewarded. Iguchi was the Prospectus MVP of the WS, and the rest is history. Fukudome is arguably underrated if we consider his ability of plate discipline while he learns the league and improves, plus his defense. He’s maybe worth 8M if played full instead of platooned. I expected a 10M cap per year before GM Hendry signed him, but I guess the Cubs had other ideas (yeah, he can play CF and all those rosy scout reports).

    And if we come back to Tsuyoshi, how the hell he’s worse than Iguchi, and even Hardy? A healthy shortstop with above average baserunning, and fine contact hitting, does not grow on trees. And the Twins apparently needs a shortstop now. Their best SS prospects are still in Rookie ball.

    That’s my opinion, of course. I hope Tsuyo-pon’s press conference and the release of the posting fee amount will prevent me to scratch my head before it bleeds.

    I haven’t followed Japanese news for months now, so I still wonder if fans and professional observation from the West Side of the Pacific found this whole deal a little disappointing like I did. Of course, the biggest disappointment would be Tsuyoshi not available for another Climax appearance in 2011 and beyond, just saying.


  7. Ken
    18/12/2010 at 6:18 am Permalink

    Kelvin Jimenez of Doosan Bears (KBO) signed up with Rakuten for a 2 year contract.

    At Doosan he went 14-5 with a 3.32 ERA and pitched 152 innings or so.
    His ERA isn’t bad but I personally think it doesn’t do him justice. If it wasn’t for his somewhat poor performance early in the season he’d had landed at least a 2.5.

    The reason for that is, as Jimenez himself said is probably due to the relatively cold spring climate in Korea compared to his home – the Dominacan Republic.
    He always complained that it was kinda “freezing” in Korea but when summer came he showed his true stuff, and was really good. But then, when it got a bit chilly in autumn he was less….well, good (but still not bad).

    That’s why I think Rakuten made a good move getting Jimenez. He’ll do much better in Japan since it’s a whole lot warmer there. It’ll be to his liking. After all Rakuten’s only paying him 40mil Yen per year.

    His fastball averages around 90miles and he’s got a nasty two-seamer. Of course, he’s no Ubaldo but I think it’ll do just fine in NPB.

    On another note, Beom-ho Lee of Softbank… It seems Softbank doesn’t know what to do with this guy. His old team Hanhwa Eagles wants him back next season through some sort of international cash trade but Softbank’s got this “I don’t want him either but I don’t know if I want to let him go just yet for some reason” kind of approach. Things are looking black indeed for Beom-ho.

  8. Ken
    18/12/2010 at 7:16 am Permalink

    Regarding DeGavph-san’s observations of Jimenez, I feel I have to bring up that Sendai is in Northern Japan where it’s still quite cool the first couple months of the season, and their stadium is out doors. While Hokkaido is farther north, at least they’d have a temperature controlled dome. So if cold weather is a problem, then I don’t think that Rakuten will necessarily be a better home.

    Maybe they should just consider taking him on road trips for the first couple of months?

  9. Ken
    18/12/2010 at 12:02 pm Permalink

    Yeah, Sendai is really cold. I was at Tokyo end of last May, 9 degree C (what, 40 F?). 9 C in a smoggy pressure freeze (instead of a “cook”), a.k.a. Tokyo–Freaked me out. June can still be chilly. I was at Makuhari for a Lotte game, and it was freezing at night. Imagine in Sendai, where in general 2-3 degrees less in April-June…

    I don’t get the “weather counts” excuse. It’s lame. A pro. learns to adapt, or Jimenez should retire and go home, teach kids in the Dominica or something.

  10. Ken
    18/12/2010 at 3:32 pm Permalink

    Jimenez seems to be an extreme ground ball pitcher. Will the Eagles field Matsui. Iwamura, and Yamasaki in the infield at the same time?

  11. Ken
    18/12/2010 at 6:29 pm Permalink

    Yeah I do agree that blaming the weather is kinda lame for a pro…. One good thing is that I think that he learned to adapt to chilly weather at least a bit during his year in Korea.

    Sendai is a lot colder than I thought,,,, I’ve only hung around Tokyo so I generally thought Japan could only be warmer than Seoul (the Bears’ home). Guess not.

    And passerby – yes, Jimenez is a extreme groundball pitcher. Big dependence on his two-seamer and sinker for that part… As a Yakult fan I was hoping Yakult might pick him up when they gave up on Bae. Hope they find a good starter this winter.

  12. Ken
    18/12/2010 at 6:54 pm Permalink

    Hey, the weather in Sendai works to the fans’ advantage as Rakuten offers a big discount on tickets in April, if you’re willing to brave the weather. Last year my friends and I roadtripped there for a Fighters series and we got outfield seats for 700 yen each!

    But yeah, I can’t imagine it’s much fun for the players. I’ve also noticed that the Fighters, despite playing indoors, tend to start off cold in April and heat up as Sapporo stops being a frozen wasteland as well…

  13. Ken
    18/12/2010 at 10:36 pm Permalink

    I watched a game (online) early last season between Rakuten and Seibu in Sendai. Hoashi vs Tanaka, and there were snow flurries. It was a great game; I really enjoyed watching Hoashi.

  14. Ken
    19/12/2010 at 12:53 am Permalink

    Miscellaneous news….

    Bryan Corey of Lotte transferred to Lotte.
    (NPB Lotte -> KBO Lotte “Giants”) So basically him and Ryan Sadowski will be the new foreign pitchers for the Giants’ starter rotation. Since they’ve got this dismal bullpen, there’s also a chance that Corey may move to the pen as closer. I’ve never paid much attention to this guy, so I don’t know if this is a good move for the Giants.

    It’ll be amusing to watch how Jimenez and Corey do in NPB/KBO.

    CPBL (Taiwan) star pitcher Pan Wei-Lun is seeking for an NPB contract. But I don’t think NPB teams showed much interest. I doubt they’ll be showing much interest – at least not until Pan Wei-Lun becomes a complete International Free Agent, and that’s not for a couple of years. It is rumored that due to this lukewarm NPB response, he’s also looking into a KBO contract (specifically the SK Wyverns). KBO may work for him if the price is right since I heard that SK will be letting Kadokura Ken go because of his knee injuries.

    Anybody know what happened to Marc Kroon? Did he get a new team?

  15. Ken
    19/12/2010 at 7:07 am Permalink

    Getting a bit off topic with the KBO, but DeGavph-san wrote:

    – It is rumored that due to this lukewarm NPB response, he’s [Pan Wei-Lun] also looking into a KBO contract (specifically the SK Wyverns). KBO may work for him if the price is right since I heard that SK will be letting Kadokura Ken go because of his knee injuries.

    DeWoskin-san reported Wei-lun signing with SK a couple of weeks ago, citing a Naver story [in Korean].

    Matt was guessing that Pan would be joining Kadokura in the Wyverns’ rotation. Do you have a source about the knee injuries and/or release?

  16. Ken
    19/12/2010 at 10:43 am Permalink

    Wei-lun: the SK signing is not official. They are showing strong interest, but not sure if they will pay up for him. I also jumped the gun on my site/twitter with SK signing him as well….for now, SK is looking to re-sign Gary Glover and maybe hopefully add Wei-lun.

    Jiminez: As a Doosan fan, I am sad to see him go. He was a good pitcher for the Bears…started off rough, but settled down as the season went on. I guess if you want to get over to Japan, Doosan is the place to get seen

    Corey: With Sadowski starting and Lotte’s shakey pen, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Corey come out of the pen for them.

  17. Ken
    19/12/2010 at 5:43 pm Permalink


    Yeah Korean news said that SK officially declared Kadokura’s release as of December 18th. He’s about to undergo knee surgery and SK simply doesn’t have the luxury to wait for him. Shame… Kadokura was a likable guy.

    And as regards to Pan, as Dan commented SK is showing strong interest but is somewhat reluctant to pay up to the Uni-president Lions (CPBL). But there are rumors that the manager wants Wei-lun a lot, so it still may work.

  18. Ken
    19/12/2010 at 5:52 pm Permalink

    oh, I almost forgot…

    here’s a Naver article (Korean) about Kadokura’s release and knee surgery.

    another Korean Naver article which is dicussing Kadokura’s release, and (I think) more rumors about Pan.

  19. Ken
    20/12/2010 at 3:56 am Permalink

    I just came across a CNA article saying the same thing, that SK is still looking.

    Thanks everyone for the updates and links. It’s good to see everyone checking one another.