NPB Bullet Points: Spring Training Notes

» 14 February 2012 » In nichibei, npb »

While pitchers and catchers are just now showing up to MLB camps, NPB spring training has been in full swing for a couple of weeks. Here’s a collection of random news stories from around the league. All links are in Japanese.

  • Chunichi has signed outfielder Victor Diaz, who had been in camp with the team on a try out basis. Diaz has MLB experience with the Mets and Rangers and played in Mexico last season.
  • Sumo wrestler Hakuho spent a day in camp with Yomiuri. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
  • Hanshin righty Randy Messenger tweeted about a soba restaurant he enjoyed.
  • Japan newcomers Scott Mathieson and John Bowker got to try eel.
  • A Sponichi report from February 8th indicates that the Nippon Ham Fighters will give Korean lefty Yoon-Hee Nam a tryout. Nam, 24, was a first-round pick of Doosan in 2006, but opted to sign with the Texas Rangers instead. He pitched five seasons in the Rangers’ system, reaching high A in 2010.
  • Softbank is working out two young Dominican pitchers, Juan Carlos Paniagua and Wanel Mesa.
  • One of the more interesting positional battles (for me anyway) is for Orix’s cleanup spot, where newcomer Dae-Ho Lee is taking on incumbent T-Okada. Lee has the lead in the “huge gut” category.
  • NPB legends Masaichi Kaneda and Katsuya Nomura turned up at Yomiuri’s camp. They both have quite an eye for fashion, particularly Nomura.

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  1. Patrick
    patrick wilson
    14/02/2012 at 8:24 am Permalink

    Yoon-Hee Nam is lefthanded

  2. Patrick
    14/02/2012 at 8:33 am Permalink

    Fixed that. Someone hasn’t had his coffee yet this morning…

  3. Patrick
    Dan Koch
    14/02/2012 at 8:43 am Permalink

    Wowzers, Dae-Ho Lee is not ‘baseball fat’, he’s just plain ol’ fat. T-Okada is going to have to hit the onigiri pretty hard to make up that kind of gap.

  4. Patrick
    14/02/2012 at 12:52 pm Permalink

    Hakuho is the honorary chairman of the Mongolian Baseball Association.

  5. Patrick
    14/02/2012 at 4:12 pm Permalink

    I think T.Okada will quickly bat clean-up again.

  6. Patrick
    14/02/2012 at 8:29 pm Permalink

    Hakuho’s looking sleeker than Dae-Ho

  7. Patrick
    14/02/2012 at 10:21 pm Permalink

    Wow. Starting Dae-Ho in the cleanup spot would make no sense for either baseball or marketing reasons. T Okada is kind of the face of the franchise now, no?

    Fat KBO infielders don’t exactly have a strong recent track history in NPB, either…

  8. Patrick
    Chris Jackson
    16/02/2012 at 1:38 am Permalink

    Looks like the BayStars signed Oscar Salazar out of those three guys they tried out last week. Not that it means too much, but I always thought he was a half-decent utility guy for the Padres and Orioles. And it’s nice to see players older than me still getting contracts.

  9. Patrick
    17/02/2012 at 1:03 pm Permalink

    Looks like he was happy to get the gig:

    He should fit in with Rami-chan.