NPB Bullet Points: Mulhern, MLB Scouts, Rakuten Fireworks
Today’s news and notes from around Japan, with a focus on scouting and player personnel.
- Daily Sports reports that Seibu is working on signing Ryan Mulhern out of the Mexican League. I had never heard of Mulhern before yesterday, but he’s spent the last two seasons in indy ball and Mexico, and prior to that it looks like he’d mostly been an organizational player. It’s great to see this kind of player get a shot and I wish him the best of luck.
- Chunichi Sports points out that Ryan Vogelsong is the third non-Japanese player with NPB experience to make an MLB All-Star team. The other two? Cecil Fielder and Alfonso Soriano.
- Wladimir Balentien’s contract with Yakult includes language that prevents him from moving to another NPB team after the season. Said someone familiar with the situation: “Discussion about foreign players leaving the team or not ended with Chang-Yong Lim last offseason. New players acquired since then have contractual provisions against moving domestically.”
- Sponichi reports that the Rays, Indians, Astros and Angels had scouts at Hisashi Iwakuma’s most recent rehab start.
- Hanshin is reportedly looking to acquire Korean slugger Dae-Ho Lee this offseason.
- The “Big 3″ college pitchers – Tomoyuki Sugano, Takahiro Fujioka and Yusuke Nomura – have all disavowed interest in skipping NPB in favor of MLB. The trio had been attracting attention from MLB scouts.
- MLB scouts from three un-named teams watched Shoji Yoshimoto, who Nikkan Sports called “the Darvish of
- Rakuten will feature fireworks displays after all 13 of it’s home games in August. As an added promotion, 20 families will get to watch the fireworks from the field.
- In more Rakuten news, the Eagles ni-gun team has it’s own ustream.tv channel. Unfortunately the angle they shoot the games from is almost unwatchable.
- And now for something completely different: Lotte has stadium and uniform advertising for Nexon this season. I never know what Nexon does, but I happened to find out from this English-language article on Techcrunch.