Author Archive > Ryo

Murton to Hanshin

» 08 December 2009 » In international baseball, nichibei, npb » Comments Off

The Winter Meetings kicked off without any blockbusters, but one move that will affect the NPB landscape was the Colorado Rockies shipping Matt Murton to the Hanshin Tigers. The Tigers have kicked the tires on numerous pitchers, and are close on Randy Messenger, but this is the first position player they’ve landed.

With Hanshin’s recent track record of finding sukketo who fit the puzzle offensively, this will be an addition worth keeping an eye on. This is the Tigers’ first signing since dismissing US scout Tom O’Malley, who was let go earlier this offseason.

On another note, the Tigers are leaning toward bringing back Craig Brazell as well.

Continue reading...

Tags: , ,

Baldiris Reunites with Okada

» 01 December 2009 » In nichibei, npb » Comments Off

Former Hanshin Tiger Aarom Baldiris will be reuniting with his former manager, Akinobu Okada, as a member of the Orix Buffaloes. In a Sponichi interview, Baldiris said, “I received couple offers from NPB clubs, but I wanted to play for the manager whom I started with in Japan. I hope to do my best to contribute for a championship.”

In two seasons with the Hanshin Tigers, Baldiris hit .205 with a total 4HR and 17RBI in 100 ichi-gun games. He had success at the ni-gun level, hitting .358 to lead the league in his second season.

Continue reading...

Tags:

アルバラード投手、カープ入り

» 30 November 2009 » In nichibei, npb » Comments Off

以前、広島カープがドジャースAAAのアルバラード投手の獲得を目指していたことをお届けしましたが、あるソースによりカープと複数年契約を交わしたことが明らかになりました。情報によるとオプションを含む3年契約で契約合意に至ったようです。

Continue reading...

Kikuchi to Debut as Reliever?

» 29 November 2009 » In npb » 2 Comments

Seibu Lion’s manager Hisanobu Watanabe has suggested that his plan for Yusei Kikuchi might be to have the highly-touted lefty start his pro career in middle relief. The Lions already has a starting rotation which consists of 2009 Sawamura Award winner Hideaki Wakui, a proven young starter in Takayuki Kishi, and also former major leaguer Kazuhisa Ishii. Unless Kikuchi shows his ability to be part of the rotation during spring training, the plan, barring injuries, may be that he will start his professional career from the bullpen.

Manager Watanabe also reminded Kikuchi through the media of three points in challenging for a spot in the rotation.

1. Don’t practice too much

This comes from the concern that Kikuchi could overwork himself if he pushed to hard to start the season in the rotation. What the manager and the baseball world really want to see at the start of the spring training is a healthy Yusei Kikuchi.

2. Don’t neglect the fundamentals

Watanabe already gave Kikuchi a practice menu written by the training coach and he believes that building the basis of his body will lead to successful pitching.

3. No special treatment

Ichi-gun on opening day? I have no answer for that. I am not going to put him on the roster because he can just pitch. He needs to show results during spring training.”

Continue reading...

Tags: , , , ,

Hiroshima Looking at Alvarado

» 28 November 2009 » In nichibei, npb » 1 Comment

Hiroshima’s final offseason acquisition target is Giancarlo Alvarado, who pitched with the Los Angeles Dodgers AAA team last season with a 13-10 record with a 3.49 ERA. Alvardo was also a member of the Puerto Rico WBC team in the previous tournament. Hiroshima likes Alvardo’s flexibility to both start and relieve.

With Mike Schultz returning and the team working on bringing Colby Lewis back, Alvarado projects as depth/insurance.

Continue reading...

Tags: , ,

Giants Sign Chih-Lung Huang

» 21 November 2009 » In international baseball, npb » Comments Off

The Tokyo Yomiuri Giants have agreed to terms with 20 year-old Taiwanese pitcher Chih-Lung Huang as an ikusei player. According to Sponichi, there were Major League teams interested in his services, but Chih-Lung Huang decided to start his career in Japan, where he had dreamed of playing.

Huang comments, “Since when I was young, I was interested in Japanese baseball rather than baseball in the States. I feel honored to be a member of a traditional team in the Giants.”

Huang’s fastball reportedly tops out at 152 kmph (~95mph) and he has a number of breaking pitches in his arsenal.Yakubaka has more details on the Huang signing and his numbers from the 2009 World Cup.

Continue reading...

Tags:

Hiroshima Movement

» 20 November 2009 » In international baseball, nichibei, npb » Comments Off

According to Chugoku Shimbun, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp have agreed to re-sign right hander Michael Shultz to a two-year contract and are also working on a deal to add outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, who appeared in 24 major league games with the Baltimore Orioles last season. The scouts liked Fiorentino’s average against left-handers and believes his batting eye is well-suited for the NPB.

As posted earlier in the week, the Carp are working on adding Justin Huber.

Continue reading...

Tags: , ,

Five Players File For Free Agency

» 18 November 2009 » In mlb prospects, npb » 4 Comments

Out of the 87 players eligible to file for free agency this off-season, only five players filed for free agency including Ryota Igarashi and Hisanori Takahashi declaring as international free agents.

The other three players filing for free agency are thought to make a move within the NPB. The Yakult Swallows remain the team interested in INF Atsushi Fujimoto and the Yokohama BayStars are the front runner for C Tasuku Hashimoto. LHP Shugo Fujii from the Nippon Ham Fighters has also declared free agency and his destination is still up in the air, but a re-connection with the Fighters is unlikely.

Continue reading...

Tags: , , , ,

Awards Announced

» 18 November 2009 » In npb » 1 Comment

The 2009 season is in the books, and the MVPs go to Yu Darvish in the Pacific League, with Alex Ramirez receiving the honor for the Central League. Darvish earns the award for the second time in his career and Ramirez obtains the award for the second straight season.

The Rookie of the Year award is received by Tokyo Yomiuri Giants outfielder Testuya Matsumoto, the first time in 51 years that two players from the same team received the RoY in consecutive years (Giants reliever Tetsuya Yamaguchi took the prize last year). The Pacific League award goes to reliever Tadashi Settsu of the Softbank Hawks.

The Best Nine Awards have also been announced and the winners are as follows:

Central Pacific
P Dicky Gonzalez Yu Darvish
CA Shinnosuke Abe Hidenori Tanoue
1B Tony Blanco Shinji Takahashi
2B Akihiro Higashide Kensuke Tanaka
3B Michihiro Ogasawara Takeya Nakamura
SS Hayato Sakamoto Hiroyuki Nakajima
OF Seiichi Uchikawa Teppei
OF Norichika Aoki Yoshio Itoi
OF Alex Ramirez Atsunori Inaba
DH Takeshi Yamazaki

Continue reading...

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sawamura Award and the Best of the Rest

» 17 November 2009 » In npb, pitching » 2 Comments

The 2009 season concluded with Hideaki Wakui of the Seibu Lions being honored with the Sawamura Award, but a number of pitchers had outstanding years and we wanted to take a closer look at them. Sawamura Award candidate are judged on how close they get to the following seven criteria:

  • Game Appearances… 25 or above
  • Complete Games… 10 or above
  • Wins… 15 or above
  • Winning Percentage… .600 or above
  • Innings Pitched… 200 or above
  • Strikeouts… 150 or above
  • ERA… Under 2.50

Obviously the only pitcher surpassing each of the criteria is Wakui with 11 complete games which made him the only true candidate for the award. An unwritten criterion necessary to win the Sawamura Award is strength and the ability to stay healthy. Even though Yu Darvish started out the season with a stellar performance, his injury in the second-half cost him his chance to win his second Sawamura Award.

G CG W Win Pct. Inn. K ERA
Hideaki Wakui 27 11 16 0.727 211.2 199 2.30
Yu Darvish 23 8 15 0.75 182 167 1.73
Toshiya Sugiuchi 26 6 15 0.75 191 204 2.36
Masahiro Tanaka 25 6 15 0.714 189.2 171 2.33
Wei-Yin Chen 24 5 8 0.667 164 146 1.54
Dicky Gonzalez 23 2 15 0.882 162 113 2.11
Kazuki Yoshimi 27 5 16 0.696 189.1 147 2.00

The Best Nine Awards are still up still unannounced, and there are a lot of worthy candidates for the top pitcher in both the Central and Pacific Leagues. Who is most deserving of the award?

Continue reading...

Tags: , , , , , ,