NPB Bullet Points: Posting System, Ikusei Promotions, Darvish’s Scouts
With NPB off until Friday, it’s a good time to refresh the Bullet Points series.
- NPB has decided not to pursue changes to the Posting System, according to a June 13 Sanspo report. Difficulty in changing the system on the MLB side and the possibility of collecting large posting fees were cited as the reasons behind the support for the current system.
- Yakult has added Brazilian Rafael Fernandez to its 70-man shihaikai roster, an upgrade from the ikusei roster. Fernandez was selected in the ikusei draft back in 2008, and has a 1.97 ERA in eight games at ni-gun this season.
- Hanshin did the same with Venezuelan lefty Robert Zarate. Zarate was signed out of the independent Baseball Challenge League last offseason.
- Norihiro Nakamura is back, this time with the Yokohama BayStars. Nori hit the first home run of his return on the 18th against Softbank.
- The Chiba Lotte Marines have come to an agreement to acquire infielder Jose Castillo, who was with Yokohama last year. Castillo had been tearing up the Mexican League, and I figure he’ll play LF or DH in Chiba.
- The Braves and Twins had scouts at Yu Darvish’s June 15 start, where he was shockingly defeated by Hanshin. Atlanta’s always chatty Hiroyuki Ohya had this to say: “It felt like he was pressing with this fastball. He has less break on his slider than he did two years ago. He can do better than this.”
- Yakult is set to sell a cocktail “produced” by slugger Wladimir Balentien. The drink will be based on Curacao, a liqueur from Coco’s homeland in the Netherlands Antilles.
- Agent Don Nomura has a new client, pitcher Keisuke Imamura, currently of the Kobe 9 Cruise of the Kansai Independent League. According to the Kobe News, Imamura stands at 190 cm (6’3), reaches 148 kmph (92mph) with his fastball, and has a 14.54 K/9IP ratio this season. The Astros, Giants, and Yankees are said to have shown interest.