NPB Bullet Points: Pinto, Bowker

» 11 January 2012 » In nichibei, npb »

I’ve got a couple of player personnel notes to pass along, via Sponichi.

  • Softbank has announced the acquisition of righty Reynel Pinto. The big righty gets a one-year deal worth JPY 70m ($910k) plus incentives. I expect him to be in the mix for a rotation spot in Fukuoka.
  • Yomiuri is working on a deal with outfielder John Bowker and expects to have a deal announced within a few days. The Phillies have already granted Bowker his release, so I’d assume a deal just needs to be signed.

And a bonus bullet point that I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet:

  • Yokohama DeNA has signed Gio Alvarado, who spent the last two years with Hiroshima. Gio should add a modicum of stability to the DeNA’s rotation.

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  1. Patrick
    12/01/2012 at 2:05 am Permalink


    Is it really necessary to call the team “DeNA”? Couldn’t you stick with “Yokohama” or the “BayStars” for a while? Are you on the モバゲ payroll or something?

  2. Patrick
    12/01/2012 at 7:28 am Permalink

    Why not, it’s part of the official team name, and it’s fun to use new names in the league.

  3. Patrick
    Michael Westbay
    12/01/2012 at 7:43 am Permalink

    EJH, I think he’s just conforming to the naming convention that the NPB has published regarding the “new” team. I’ve been avoiding using their full name, just sticking with either “Yokohama” or “BayStars,” but not “Yokohama BayStars.” (In fact, I think that they dropped the capital ‘S’ as well.)

    Nonetheless, Patrick gets a lot of coverage in the mainstream press, so following the naming conventions posted by the league is in his best interest.

  4. Patrick
    12/01/2012 at 9:37 am Permalink

    Actually, most of the media seems to just be calling the team DeNA, ie I’m kind of waiting to see what pattern emerges.

    And it looks like Westbaystars-san is right, they are now the Baystars.

  5. Patrick
    Michael Westbay
    12/01/2012 at 6:21 pm Permalink

    In the original press release for the new team name, it as said that when the team was represented by just one character that it continue to be 横. However, today’s Nikkan Sports (January 13, 2012) is using “D” in the Open-sen schedule, the only one to use a non-kanji.

    Patrick is correct. The press is using DeNA more and more to name the club. It just takes a little longer for old boys like me to come around.

  6. Patrick
    12/01/2012 at 9:48 pm Permalink

    I’m pretty old, too. It’ll likely take me a few years to accept the new name and by then they’ll probably have a new one.

  7. Patrick
    13/01/2012 at 9:21 pm Permalink

    Back to the subject at hand — Renyel Pinto appears to be quite a character. He was pitching well for the Marlins in 2010 (2.70 ERA in 20 appearances) when they released him in late June. The Cardinals quickly signed him and released him only a month later.

    As far as I can tell, he didn’t pitch anywhere during the summer of 2011 (at least baseball reference doesn’t list him pitching anywhere, although he could conceivably have pitched in Taiwan, Korea or Mexico). He pitched extremely well in the Venezuelan Winter League this year, which was apparently the Hawks’ motivation to give him such a big contract.

    Pinto had numerous run-ins with the courts in his three or four years in Miami, including driving without a license, being sued by his sports management company and being sued for an unpaid $230,000 jewelry bill. For what it’s worth, baseball reference lists him weighing 280 lbs.

    Given all that, it’s a little hard to see him lasting for long on a Japanese team. Obviously, the Hawks were thinking about his MLB career 3.62 in 231 IP and the fact that his 8.6 K’s per 9 IP. Still, one has to expect the Hawks are in for a wild ride next year.

  8. Patrick
    13/01/2012 at 9:49 pm Permalink

    The Hawks have a bit of a short leash with foreign pitchers — Anthony Lerew, Kameron Loe and Justin Germano all only received very minimal opportunities to play. This doesn’t bode well for Pinto, but you never know.

  9. Patrick
    patrick Wilson
    14/01/2012 at 10:04 pm Permalink

    I know it’s really unrelated and even a bit early but I wonder if this year’s draft will have some interesting names like Sugano, Takahashi, Fujioka etc. I figure Sugano will be drafted again…

  10. Patrick
    15/01/2012 at 9:12 am Permalink

    Actually the two guys I’ll be keeping an eye on are high schoolers, Shohei Otani and Shintaro Fujinami, tall righties whom the media is comparing to Darvish.

  11. Patrick
    patrick Wilson
    15/01/2012 at 12:50 pm Permalink

    Thanks! I’ll follow both of them now…

    How about a top 5 (college, H.S, industrial…) have they talked about this in Japan yet?

    I appreciate!

  12. Patrick
    Michael Westbay
    16/01/2012 at 7:45 am Permalink

    – How about a top 5 (college, H.S, industrial…) have they talked about this in Japan yet?

    Shukan Baseball has already had two 2012 Draft specials and another magazine has also published a full magazine of potential 2012 draftees. Unfortunately, they don’t rank them 1-50 but have the presented pitchers, catchers, infielders, then outfielders. So it’s kind of hard to pick out the currently regarded as top five.

  13. Patrick
    16/01/2012 at 8:38 am Permalink

    Even then the ordering in Shukan Baseball is usually not completely reflective of how the players grade as prospects. Yakyu Kozo has more explicit ratings, and the Draft Reports site is a good indicator of how much attention these players are getting from the teams (

  14. Patrick
    Patrick Wilson
    16/01/2012 at 9:59 am Permalink

    God!!! These publications remind me of Baseball America but I can’t read Kanji!!!
    Just looking at the diffrent pitching wind-up on the cover of Yakyu Kozo makes me drool!

    Is there a way to buy these? Patrick can you order one? I’m willing to put some money on that!

    I understand the lack of draft order for now… I figure there’s no big three like last year…

    I’m a bit of draft freek (I went to North Carolina last summer just to see some prospects)

    Thanks to you guys!

  15. Patrick
    16/01/2012 at 10:50 am Permalink

    Assuming you’re in the US, probably the best way to go is Kinokuniya (even better if you’re on the West Coast).

    Japanese books & magazines are expensive, particularly now with the weak dollar exchange rate. Yakyu Kozo costs $21 or so retail.

  16. Patrick
    patrick wilson
    17/01/2012 at 8:32 am Permalink

    Thanks Patrick! I sent a email to Kinokuniya… They ask for a particular (specific) magazine, maybe number or publication month . Could you specify the best draft preview magazine so I can answer them back?

    I live about 15 minutes from Olympic Stadium in Montreal… The last japanese player I saw over here was probably Tomo Okha so I emailed the New York store.

    Thanks for the tips!

  17. Patrick
    17/01/2012 at 8:43 am Permalink

    I don’t know if this is the best or not because I haven’t read it, but Kozo’s February 2012 issue has their first draft preview of the year.

    If you wait a few months, the June and September issues usually have a ton of draft content.

    Coincidentally a friend from Japan brought me the Shukan Baseball issue that Westbay-san mentioned, so maybe I’ll do a post on that when I finish reading it.

  18. Patrick
    patrick wilson
    17/01/2012 at 9:13 am Permalink

    I’ll be reading that!