Calling on Reinforcements

» 12 June 2011 » In nichibei, npb »

It’s that time of year again, when struggling NPB teams look to improve their competitive fortunes through the addition of players from overseas.
  • Rakuten has imported first baseman Luis Alfonso Garcia from the Mexican League. The big righty has already appeared in three games for the Eagles, and is 3 for 10 with a double, and has participated in his first hero interview. Rakuten has a bit of a pattern of in-season imports having some initial success, then flaming out in year two, so we’ll see how Garcia does. I love his stance, though.
  • Orix has picked up 23 year-old righty Wilson Matos on an ikusei contract. Matos had been with the Cardinals 1A affiliate, but it looks like all of his game experience came in the low minors with the Boston and Florida organizations.
  • Nikkan Sports is reporting that Hiroshima is looking to add a bat, specifically a righthanded outfielder with gap power. They reportedly have a list of five or six names, but Nikkan Sports didn’t give us anyone specific. Hmmmm…. my guesses would be Jeremy Hermida, Jeff Larish, Bobby Scales. I guess I have a bit of a bias for guys I’ve seen in the Major Leagues, specifically those who have come through the Bay Area.
  • Nikkan Sports also reports that Lotte is also in the market for an outfielder, and were specifically going after John Bowker, but hadn’t been able to close out a deal as of the 11th. Bowker is a good pick, another guy with player plenty of 3A experience, but little MLB success. Loyal commenter Chris Jackson gave us a heads up on Lotte’s scouting activities a couple weeks ago.


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  1. Patrick
    Billy D
    12/06/2011 at 8:09 pm Permalink

    Somebody needs to tell me why Rakuten ‘s Luis Garcia was pitching in 2008 (2 starts, 19 reliefs):

  2. Patrick
    12/06/2011 at 8:19 pm Permalink
  3. Patrick
    Chris Jackson
    12/06/2011 at 10:47 pm Permalink

    Lotte commentator? Don’t you mean Albuquerque-based writer? While I have always wanted to visit Japan, I’ve been stuck on U.S. soil since 2007 (and that was just a long weekend jaunt to Toronto).
    Two more right-handed, gap-power outfielders to consider from the Pacific Coast League: Jesus Guzman of Tucson and Chris Aguila of New Orleans.

  4. Patrick
    13/06/2011 at 6:34 am Permalink

    Whoops, I meant to write “loyal” there. I guess I got to “Lo” and the baseball part of my brain took over. Sorry about that.

    Aguila actually played in Japan with Softbank a few years ago, but didn’t really get much of a chance to prove himself. I don’t think that would be a deal breaker for him signing with another Japanese team, but it won’t help.

  5. Patrick
    13/06/2011 at 1:12 pm Permalink

    The Seattle Mariners recently called up Mike Carp from Tacoma of the PCL, he seems to me like a guy who would be a good fit in Japan, patient, left-handed and with some power, it wouldn’t be this year but I don’t think he has quite enough talent to be a regular 1B in the majors.
    Unrelated question: have you heard anything about the future of Kosuke Fukudome? Do you think he can stay in the majors under a more reasonable contract or will he return to Japan? Thanks!

  6. Patrick
    13/06/2011 at 5:58 pm Permalink

    Rumor has it Hiroshima is interested in Mike Carp. Patrick, do you have any further information?

  7. Patrick
    13/06/2011 at 8:59 pm Permalink

    Isaac — Fukudome is an (slightly) above average MLB hitter and defender. I think he will find MLB opportunities with more reasonable expectations this offseason.

    EJH — good one 🙂

  8. Patrick
    13/06/2011 at 9:09 pm Permalink

    Yokohama is looking to the Indy leagues for talent as well:

  9. Patrick
    16/06/2011 at 12:02 am Permalink

    If Mike Carp finds his way to Hiroshima, that’s definately a jersey I’d seriously consider buying……

  10. Patrick
    17/06/2011 at 9:11 am Permalink

    Garcia was absolutely obliterating the Mexican League pitching. This is supposedly AAA level, but feels a lot more like AA. I do think Garcia is a better all around player than Ruiz though. He can at least field his position, and appears to keep himself in pretty good condition.

  11. Patrick
    18/06/2011 at 2:53 pm Permalink

    Good 3A hitters usually terrorize the Mexican League. And unfortunately, hitters who terrorize the Mexican League haven’t had much recent success in Japan (Dionys Cesar last year is a recent example).

  12. Patrick
    18/06/2011 at 4:40 pm Permalink

    Hi Patrick,

    Jose Castillo (former Baystars) just signed a contract with the Chiba Lotte Marines. Castillo played this season in the Mexican League with the Diablos Rojos.

  13. Patrick
    18/06/2011 at 10:26 pm Permalink

    Yeah, just a cursory search through the Mexican League stats on showed that each team had 3 or 4 guys hitting like .380!